Organising African j-schools
MARCH 2008: Almost two dozen African j-schools, recognised by UNESCO has having potential to become "Centres of Excellence" met in Grahamstown to share ideas and network with possible international j-school partners plus media-development agencies and funders. The report is at UNESCO's website.
SEPTEMBER 2008: Seven of the schools managed to meet adjacent to the Highway Africa conference, to plan some concrete networking. Possibly the most significant idea is to meet in Namibia around 3 May, World Press Freedom Day, in 2009... as an African preparatory meeting ahead of the hoped-for hosting of the 2nd World Journalism Education Congress in Grahamstown in 2010. The aim is share with peers draft papers on Africanising the curriculum, that can be presented as a focus within the WJEC. The Namibian Polytech and the University of Namibia j-schools have offered to host the event. The report on the September meeting also compares research outputs amongst the schools, plus funding advice, and the prospects for an online site.
The good news is that the Open Society Foundation in Cape Town has now given Rhodes a grant to help work towards the WJEC, including web-based linking of journalism educators. So, that gives some traction to the whole thrust of building on UNESCO's initiatives to help African journalism education.
UPDATE: The momentum continued in May 2009, when we worked with the Namibia Polytechnic and the University of Namibia,to hold another meeting of African journalism educators - this time in Windhoek (home, of course, of the 1991 Windhoek Declaration). The meeting was backed by UNESCO and the Open Society of West Africa, and included some newcomers to the emerging network from other West African journalism schools. The report is downloadable.
|Unesco j-schools September meeting report final.doc||1.65 MB|