Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Rhodes University, through the School of Journalism and Media Studies, has offered to host the 2nd World Journalism Education

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:

 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

June 2009.

 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

Rhodes University

Africa Media Matrix

Upper Prince Alfred Street


Grahamstown 6140



Tel: +27 (0) 46 603 7156

Fax: +27 (0) 46 603 7101

Mobile: +27 (0) 78 208 7529



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