Nobel Laureate, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu provided words of inspiration to journalists and academics at the closing ceremony of the World Journalism Educator's Congress and Highway Africa Conference.

"If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all," he told delegates. Tutu became a signatory to the Table Mountain Declaration calling on governments in Africa to abolish insult laws and criminal defamation laws in Africa. These laws are seen as among the chief impediments preventing free and open criticism of African governments through the vehicles of the press.

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Thursday, 08 July 2010 16:06

Gillmor's learnings from Africa (video)

Dan Gillmor, author of We the Media and journalism educator from Arizona State University chaired sessions on entrepreneurial journalism. He speaks about the importance of mobile to Africa's media future and cautions about over investing social media such as Facebook.

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Wednesday, 07 July 2010 10:22

Why Twitter should be taught (video)

University of Canberra, senior Journalism lecturer and researcher of social media, Julie Posetti discusses the responsibility of journalism schools to prepare students on the professional and ethical use of social media tools for audience engagement and how to critically analyse them.

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Tuesday, 06 July 2010 14:09

When the war is over (video)

Marie-Soleil Frere is a Journalism educator from the University of Brussels. She was part of a discussion about Journalism education and reporting conflict. Marie, who has researched media and conflict in parts of Central Africa discusses the need to teach students about the context and practice of conflict reporting in fragile democracies.

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Tuesday, 06 July 2010 13:53

"We're building a movement..." (video)

Head of the School of Journalism and Media Studies at Rhodes University, Guy Berger discusses the importance of hosting the second World Journalism Education Congress in Africa and how it has been received so far. "We're building a movement of teachers from around the world," he tells us in this video. 

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Tuesday, 06 July 2010 10:26

New syllabus for reporting Africa

Former UNESCO chair of Media and Democracy at Rhodes University, Prof Fackson Banda presented a paper at the World Journalism Educators Conference on Monday addressing the challenges of developing a syllabus for reporting Africa.

Now a UNESCO program officer in Paris, Banda has returned to Rhodes to share the outcome of a UNESCO project to develop a syllabus for reporting Africa. He impressed upon WJEC the following needs:

  • The need to interrogate epistemology and ontology issues
  • The need to interrogate new teaching methods
  • The need to assess the impact of training in Africa.

Banda said that to report on Africa aspiring journalists needed four levels of orientation. 

Firstly, students needed to be rooted in the historical context of Africa from an African perspective.  Secondly, they needed a self reflective ethical orientation using African morality and philosophy.

The issue of an Africana, as opposed to African, came up recognizing the need to be able to generate modules for training Africa related issue anywhere in the world. 

A third input required a critical understanding the developmental context.  Historically, under the label “development communication”. This meant imparting development related messaged that would inform the masses and define direction.

Today, said Banda, it meant learning how to speak to an engaged citizenry.  Training needed to prepare students for the task of managing messages in culturally and linguistically diverse forms.

A lot of the original thinking came out of a WJEC preparatory colloquium chaired by Banda last year at Rhodes.  The aim of the colloquium was threefold, namely to:

  • Affirm and strengthen pan African intellectual contributions in articulating a shared agenda for African journalism education in the global educational public sphere;
  • Validate and accentuate, through rigorous African peer review, individual and collective scholarly analysis and evaluation of African journalistic traditions and cultures and how these influence journalism education and research across sub-Saharan Africa; and thus;
  • Outline and propagate a shared agenda or identity for African journalism training within and without Africa.  The colloquium affirmed and strengthened individual and collective contributions to the field of African journalism education.  Through this colloquium, said Banda in his introductory remarks last year, scholars were helping to frame the agenda for conceptualizing, researching, teaching, and practicing journalism in Africa. A model African journalism Training curriculum has been developed.
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Dr. Ibrahim Saleh works at the Centre of Film and Media studies at the University of Cape Town. He was the panel coordinator at a discussion regarding Journalism education within hostile environments, at the WJEC at Rhodes University in Grahamstown.

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Monday, 05 July 2010 20:01

WJEC 2: Poynter's Perspectives (video)

Karen Dunlap is the president of the Poynter Institute where she hasworked since 1985. She was part of a panel discussion about Journalism education providers in a changing media environment held at the second World Journalism Educator's Congress at Rhodes University in Grahamstown.

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The former president of the Republic of Ghana (2001 to 2009) speaks candidly on the state of journalism in Africa. He said journalists should learn to respect the humanity of others. Kufuor was special guest at the second World Journalism Educator's Congress held in Grahamstown, South Africa from 4-7 July 2010.

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WJEC2's opening keynote speaker and African Union Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, Advocate Pansy Tlakula calls on African journalists to become au fait with legal instruments to safeguard public freedom of expression and the media as a safeguard to democracy.

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