William Bird

William studied at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg where he obtained his BA and Honours degree in Drama and Film. He worked in television after completing his studies. Unable to resist the lure of media monitoring, William started with some part time monitoring for the Media Monitoring Project, now Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) in 1995 and after leaving television joined the MMA as a researcher. At MMA William has overseen or been directly involved in over 100 media monitoring projects on subjects ranging from gender based violence, HIV, and racism to children and the media. William has also completed overseeing the data analysis of the biggest civil society media monitoring exercise in the world – the Global Media Monitoring Project. For this project over 100 countries monitored gender around the world. William has also overseen the name change of the MMP to Media Monitoring Africa in 2008. William was appointed an Ashoka fellow in 2009 and also a Linc Fellow in 2010 for his work focused on children’s participation in the media. He is regularly accessed in the media on a range of media focused issues. In his twelve years as director of MMA William has helped MMA grow from a small 3 people driven organisation to a committed team of 16 people, with a clear vision and dedicated programme areas. William’s knowledge of media monitoring and commitment to deepening democracy in South Africa and the continent has ensured his expertise is internationally recognised In his spare time William likes to monitor the media when not otherwise distracted by his young sons.