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UNESCO and Rhodes University work to strengthen journalism education in Africa

01-09-2009 (Windhoek)
UNESCO and Rhodes University work to strengthen journalism education in Africa
Cover of the brochure
related to the Second World
Journalism Education
Congress, 5-7 July 2010.
© 2009 Rhodes University
A partnership between UNESCO and the Rhodes University School of Journalism and Media Studies will strengthen African journalism education in September 2009.
The joint activities planned over a week-long period are:

  • A special training programme to empower African journalism teachers in using New Media.

  • A research colloquium as part of the African preparations for the World Journalism Education Congress to be organized by Rhodes University in July 2010.

  • These initiatives will strengthen the institutional and academic capacities of African journalism education, more specifically of the 12 potential centres of excellence, and nine potential to be centres of reference.

    Representatives from the potential centres of excellence and reference earlier met in Grahamstown in March 2008, and again in Windhoek 2009 to chalk out the strategies to convert these centres to real centres of excellence. The emerging network of these centres has now identified that a priority in achieving their potential is in raising skill levels around Internet and Mobile phone journalism.

    Rhodes’ University has selected ten candidates for the new media course, and surveyed their levels of capability and access, in preparation for the coming course. During the hands-on training they will get, the candidates will also be exposed to disruptive concepts and technologies - such as User-generated-content, Cloudware and the Semantic Web.

    According to Mathurine, the expert who will conduct the course “The workshop aims to spotlight the role and place of new media pedagogy in African J-School curricula, and discuss tools and thinking strategies that educators and learners need to advance African journalism in the age of digital convergence.”

    The aim is to get African J-Schools to mobilise capacity and harness opportunities before digital media consumption and economics disrupts African legacy media structures and processes.

    “We are hoping African JMC-educators can take a realistic look at local convergence trajectories and consider curricula and pedagogical responses that learn from experience in the developing and developed world to better cope with the challenges,” says Mathurine.

    The research colloquium that the participants will also attend is part of a “prepcom” for the World Journalism Education Congress to be held in Africa in 2010. The bid to host this event in Africa was supported by UNESCO, and follows the first congress in Singapore, 2007, which again was convened with UNESCO support.

    Following the launch of UNESCO’s Model Curriculum for Journalism Education in Singapore, African journalism educators are now planning for a model syllabus on “Reporting Africa” to present to the 2010 congress.

    This topic will be part of the discussions at the colloquium, where a total of 35 research papers on African journalism education will also be delivered in four parallel sessions. The event is convened by Prof Fackson Banda, who is UNESCO Chair of Media and Democracy at Rhodes University, and whose position is sponsored by SAB.

    The 2010 World Journalism Education Congress will be held at Rhodes University, parallel to that year’s 2010 Highway Africa conference, from 5 – 7 July.

    UNESCO’s support for efforts to boost journalism education in Africa this September have encouraged support from other parties for the events, such as the Open Society Institute of West Africa, the Open Society Network Media Programme, Open Society Foundation, and Telkom.
    Related themes/countries

          · Africa
          · South Africa
          · Training of Media Professionals
          · Media Development
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