Congress (WJEC-2) in 2010. The bid, which has received wide-ranging endorsements, is currently being considered by the Council of the WJEC.
The bid document can be visited at: http://www.ru.ac.za/jms.
As a consequence, the SAB LTD-UNESCO Chair of Media and Democracy, Professor Fackson Banda, is convening a high-level "prepcom" of African journalism educators on the 9th of September 2009 (during this year's Highway Africa conference), so as to co-ordinate African-regional input into the WJEC.
Funding for this is already available from South African company Telkom and the Open Society Network Media Programme. The rationale behind this
Africa-regional preparatory meeting is partly underpinned by the realisation that African journalism educators are underrepresented in international
initiatives of this kind, as was evidenced by the low number of African attendees at the 1st WJEC held in Singapore in July 2007.
In addition, the practice of journalism in Africa is in flux, constantly answering to the global influences of liberalisation, privatisation,
commercialisation and internationalisation. At the same time, the local exigencies are conditioning the practice of journalism in ways that render
it neither global nor local. The 'glocalised' nature of journalism in Africa must surely raise many questions for journalism educators. Such questions,
if they are to be properly answered, must be placed within the historical conditions that have shaped and reshaped African journalism -- colonialism,
post-colonialism and globalisation. Such a historical contextualisation of journalistic practice in Africa should hopefully spur African journalism
educators to launch a critical enquiry that will deconstruct most of the 'received' conventional wisdom about the theory and practice of journalism
in Africa. This should become an organic process of 'owning' African journalism as a social practice that can be transformational in many of our
countries which are wrestling with the very real problems of underdevelopment, bad governance, poverty, social exclusion, xenophobia,
sexism, and the like.
The papers thus prepared for the colloquium could cover a variety of topics, including, but not limited to, the following:
1. Journalism studies and media studies -- theoretical divergences and convergences
2. Theorising journalism education in Africa
3. Journalism education for democracy and development
4. Journalism education and xenophobia
5. Journalism education and experiential learning
6. Journalism education and technological innovation
7. Models of sustainability of African journalism amidst the global financial and economic crisis
8. Journalism education research in Africa
9. Peace journalism education in conflict-ridden African countries
10. The theory and practice of community journalism in Africa
11. Citizen journalism versus conventional journalism
12. Journalism education and industry
13. Journalism education and community-building
14. Assessing the quality of journalism education in Africa
15. African journalism education in the 'global village'
The Chair is able to sponsor up to 40 African journalism educators, subject to stringent conditions. Here are the conditions:
1. Each sponsored educator will be required to prepare and present a scholastically sound paper during the Africa-regional preparatory
2. For such a paper to be considered for inclusion in the programme,educators are invited to submit abstracts of their papers by the 17th of
3. Full papers must be submitted by the 10th of August 2009 in order to allow sufficient time for respondents to prepare their reviews of the
An added incentive is that most if not all of the papers presented during the meeting stand a chance of being published in peer-reviewed journals. The
organisers are negotiating with potential journals in order to finalise this aspect of the initiative. As such, younger journalism educators, especially
those associated with the UNESCO Potential Centres of Excellence, are encouraged to apply for consideration for sponsorship. Some of the papers
will be presented during the WJEC itself.
Needless to say, this is a rare opportunity for African journalism educators to showcase the unique variety and richness of African journalism
educational experiences. You are most welcome!
Abstracts, as well as finished papers, can be submitted to:
Professor Fackson Banda
SAB LTD-UNESCO Chair of Media & Democracy
School of Journalism & Media Studies
Africa Media Matrix
Upper Prince Alfred Street
PO BOX 94
Tel: +27 (0) 46 603 7156
Fax: +27 (0) 46 603 7101
Mobile: +27 (0) 78 208 7529