“The magic of all of these people from so many countries is the format that allows big-picture high-impact sessions and very intimate syndicate sessions and personal interaction,” said Joe Foote, Dean and Edward L. Gaylord Chair in the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Oklahoma. “There are many levels to get to know people, so many levels to participate,” he said. Foote is the chair of the WJEC 2 Organising Committee.
“Although most of the sessions ran late, the conference was run in true African time,” he laughed.
Jonathan Hewett who is Director of Newspaper Journalism at City University in London was also happy with the general outcome of the conference.
“I think I probably got more out of the research paper sessions and talking to people, “ he said, “There are so many interesting people all over the world and you don’t often get this opportunity to pick people’s brains.” The variety of expert speakers, professors and lecturers left many delegates spoilt for choice.
Although the congress was successful, there is always room for improvement, the organisers noted. The council that convenes the WJEC has agreed to make adjustments for an even more successful event in the future.
Many of the delegates commended Rhodes University for a job excellently done, even considering the internet downtime earlier in the week and the negative effect it had on most people. Some delegates from the West said they were able to appreciate, in real time, how Africa copes in situations that they would ordinarily deem a crisis, Foote said.