South Africa’s Rhodes University and the United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organisation (Unesco) have teamed up to strengthen journalism training in Africa.
The Eastern Cape-based university’s
The course, which is already full, takes place from 7-11 September 2009 and will be conducted by Prof Jude Mathurine of the university’s New Media Lab. Mathurine is a specialist in the field.
“The workshop aims to spotlight the role and place of new media pedagogy in African journalism school curricula,” said Mathurine, “and discuss tools and thinking strategies that educators and learners need to advance African journalism in the age of digital convergence”.
The initiative also features the Africa Regional Preparatory Colloquium, which takes place on 9 September under the convenorship of Prof Fackson Banda, the university’s SAB-Unesco Chair of Media and Democracy.
This gathering will serve as part of Africa’s preparations for the forthcoming World Journalism Education Congress (WJEC), taking place at
Uniting journalism teachers
Presented with the support of Unesco, the Open Society Institute of West Africa, the Open Society Institute’s Network Media Programme and
Poor representation from the African continent was an unfortunate feature of the inaugural WJEC in
The one-day gathering aims to address this issue by coordinating pan-African contributions and creating a shared identity and agenda for African journalism education in both the continental and global context.
The colloquium takes place during the annual Highway Africa conference, an initiative of
No fewer than 35 research papers on African journalism education – ranging from career choices for female students, to reporting on conflict and crises, and citizen journalism – will be delivered in four concurrent sessions. In addition to the multitude of local speakers, there will be distinguished guest presenters from
An entire strategic session is dedicated to the 2010 WJEC. Topics under discussion include the ways in which African teachers can get involved in the event, such as volunteering as peer reviewers, fundraising to ensure attendance or participating in the development of a model curriculum on “reporting Africa” to present at WJEC.
Strengthening African journalism
Through the upcoming training programme Unesco and Rhodes together hope to further boost the capacities of journalism schools across the continent, especially those recently identified as potential centres of excellence and potential centres of reference.
Earlier in 2009 Unesco embarked on a continent-wide project with the African Union to boost the quality of journalism in
During the initial information-gathering period 12 institutions, four in
They are the Mass Communication Department at Makerere University in Uganda; the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Kenya’s Nairobi University; the Department of Mass Communication at Nigeria’s University of Lagos; the School of Communication, Legal and Secretarial Studies at the Namibia Polytechnic; the Mozambican School of Journalism; the Centre d’études des sciences et techniques de l’information in Senegal; the École supérieure des sciences et techniques de l’information et de la communication in Cameroon; and Morocco’s Institut supérieur de l’information et de la communication.
The South African schools are the Department of Journalism at
Of the nine potential centres of reference, two are in
A number of strategy meetings between educational representatives of the countries involved have already taken place. It is generally agreed that if these institutions are to achieve their potential, they must boost skills levels in new media, specifically mobile- and internet-related journalism.