Thursday, August 31, 2006

Reflection, celebration expected at Highway Africa

Reflection, celebration expected at Highway Africa

By Margaret Maluleka
Reflections, celebrations and future directions, this is the theme which is expected to navigate the direction for the 10th gathering of media practitioners, private companies and NGOs in Grahamstown from September 11-13. More than 500 media practitioners from across the continent are expected to make their way to the Highway Africa, which is the biggest gathering of African journalist in the world.

Speaking at the media launch of the Highway Africa programme, Guy Berger, the head of School of Journalism and Media Studies at Rhodes University, says: "Journalists with diverse experiences will convene at Rhodes University, in Grahamstown to discuss issues relating to the impact of technology on news coverage and society."

The conference, which enhances media growth within African democratic spheres, has made remarkable strides in contributing to African Renaissance since it's inception 10 years ago. Private companies, NGOs and media practitioners will use the conference to critically reflect of on the role of African media particularly in matters related to Information Communication Technology (ICT). "The seminar aims to stimulate academic reflection on the various aspects of of linkage between African media and the construction of a digital public sphere," says Chris Kabwato, the conference director.

African academics to train journalists
Speakers to the seminar will include Dr Fredrick Madhai, a Kenyan academic based at UK Coventry University, Professor Jimi Adesina, head of Rhodes sociology department and Professor Keyan Tomaselli, the director of the Centre for Cultural and Media studies at the University of KwaZulu Natal, Annelisa Burgee, a producer for SABC's Special Assignment and Dr. Peter Verweij, a Dutch new media expert.

Reporting on ICTs and Investigative Video Journalism workshops will take place between September 4-13. Meanwhile conference participants will not only be equipped with knowledge, they will also be actively involved in producing multimedia products due to be published on the web and in the conference newspaper.

Declaration expected to wrap up the conference
To wrap up the conference, different role players will put together a statement on the 50 years of journalism and media in Africa. However the conference statement will only be made public next year to coincide with Ghana's 50 years of independence

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