Thursday, June 11, 2009

Reporting Africa - 2010, Development and Democracy at Highway Africa 09



                                                    Theme:  Reporting Africa - 2010, Development and Democracy

Dates: 5-9 September 2009

                                                  Venue: Eden Grove Complex, Rhodes University, Grahamstown

 1. Background


Highway Africa is a partnership between Rhodes University (School of Journalism and Media Studies) and the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), with the support of several partners, development agencies and sponsors.


For twelve years the Highway Africa conference has been at the centre of Africa's debates on journalism and new media. The conference has over the years become the largest annual gathering of African journalists in the world (735 in 2008). In the last five years Highway Africa has evolved into a multi-pronged programme with the following components:


Research: mapping the terrain of the challenges of the interface of technology, journalism and the media


Education and Training: responding to the gaps identified in the research this project makes a practical intervention by re-skilling, upskilling, educating and training journalists.

 News Agency: a niche news agency with a network of correspondents across the continent it offers weekly news digest on ICT developments in Africa

 Conference: the flagship of the programme, it is the forum for critical reflection on journalism, media and technology and a celebration of Africa

 The Themes: 2010, Development & Democracy

 In 2010, South Africa hosts the FIFA World Football Cup. As we head for the world's biggest spectacle, taking place in Africa for the very first time, it is imperative that African journalism and media prepare on how the 2010 Story will told.

 Highway Africa Conference 2009 will be both a celebration and an interrogation of journalism and media and their role in sport, identity and the African agenda.

The questions we would like to ask ourselves will include:


How does the media cover sport in general?

How is Africa telling the story of the 2010 World Cup?

What technology will the media deploy to report and deliver 2010?

What capacity will be created to enable journalists to report adequately on this event?

How does identity politics impact on how 2010 is reported in the media?

What digital infrastructure is in place to deliver 2010?

What strategies are in place to enable African broadcasters to deliver 2010 to the continent?

What training programmes should media organisations develop to equip media professionals to adequately cover 2010?

How will the African blogosphere and other new media platforms leveraged to ensure a vibrant coverage of 2010?

What other auxiliary stories will be there around 2010?

How will journalism educators respond to 2010 in their curricula?


Using its various platforms of plenary sessions, keynote addresses, training workshops, book launches, networking dinners and debates, HA 2009 will be at the forefront of celebrating and interrogating the meaning of 2010.

Although the main focus would be on sport reporting there will be key sessions on development and democracy and how African media has reported on the crisis. Via addresses and interactions with key players, analysts and academics, journalists will reflect on the unfolding financial crisis and on their own reporting and framing of this global phenomenon. In the lead to the Highway Africa conference a series of one-day events will be held that will seek to interrogate some of the emerging issues around the crisis and the media.

Enquiries: Chris Kabwato, Director, Highway Africa,

Telephone +2746 603 7187

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