Pexels: Blue Ox Studio

By Enoch Sithole: 
Organisers have announced that Glasgow-based academic Dr Hayes Mabweazara will deliver the keynote address at the round table meeting of the African Journalism Educators’ Network (AJEN), due to be held at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg later this month.

The programme of the September 13 event has now been released, and is available here.  Participants from some 17 countries are expected to attend in person, and the event will also be accessible as a Zoom webinar for those unable to travel. 

The themes to be discussed include:

  • How does journalism education relate to the reality of practical news work as it is evolving in Africa? 
  • What new and old skills do graduates need to face challenges of digitisation, precarious work and information inequalities?
  • Where is African journalism going? Trends and tensions.
  • Teaching by publishing: tensions and opportunities of student media – Experiences and challenges of using student media as part of the teaching process.
  • Research-driven teaching in a decolonising Africa – but what research? There have been calls for journalism education to be driven by research, but what research is needed?
  • Decoloniality and language policy: What can journalism educators do to honour the wealth of the African linguistic landscape in the face of the continuing dominance of colonial languages?

Delegates will also discuss plans for the further development of the network itself.

Meanwhile, a draft programme for the South African Communication Association (SACOMM) conference to be held at the University of Witwatersrand, immediately after the AJEN meeting, on 14-16 September 2022, has been released.

Dubbed SACOMM2022, the conference will be opened with an address by Professor Garth Stevens, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at Wits University. Thereafter, Prof Bruce Mutsvairo of the Utrecht University will deliver a keynote address under the title “Towards An Architectonic Explication of Technology: a south-south standpoint”. Another keynote address will be delivered by Danielle Bowler of New Frame, South Africa, under the title “Hearing Each Other, in the Glitch”. 

Held under the theme “Unravelling Big Tech: Power and the Global South”, SACOMM2022 will see academics and researchers from various communication fields discuss how new digital technologies are impacting the transmission and consumption of information.

Papers will be presented, discussing issues such the failure of the normative framings that “increasing access and appropriation of technology would lead to radical developmental gains everywhere”. Scholars will discuss ways which the “Global South can contest and defy these limited normative framings?  How can we instantiate alternate digital and online microcosms which inculcate a plurality of decolonial perspectives, innovative ideas, creativity and inclusivity? As scholars in the Global South, how can we conceptualise/theorise ways of mitigating this gap?”

Further information is available from