Exploring the Future of Journalism in Africa: The SEEDS OF CHANGE Summit

From April 4th to 6th, 2024, the School of Journalism and Media Studies (JMS) at Rhodes University is set to host a groundbreaking event – the Journalism Summit titled “SEEDS OF CHANGE: CULTIVATING THE FUTURE OF JOURNALISM IN AFRICA”. This summit aims to gather professionals, academics, activists, and stakeholders from across the journalistic landscape to deliberate on the trajectory of journalism in South Africa and the broader African continent.

The urgency of the summit lies in the need to navigate the rapidly changing media landscape characterized by technological advancements, shifting political climates, and evolving audience expectations. Against this backdrop, the summit seeks to develop strategies and resources to fortify journalism in these volatile times. It aspires to foster more interactive, democratic, and trauma-informed media spaces, not just in South Africa but across neighboring countries as well.

The Makhanda Declaration: A Call to Action

Central to the summit is the crafting of the Makhanda Declaration, a public statement reminiscent of the historic Windhoek Declaration over 30 years ago. This declaration symbolizes a collective commitment to the future of journalism among academics, journalists, and activists present at the summit. The declaration will be unveiled to the public on the final morning of the summit, serving as a beacon of hope and direction for the industry.

Pre-Conference Highlights: April 4th

The summit kicks off with two pre-conferences on Thursday, April 4th. One focuses on the pivotal role of journalism education in bolstering the profession, while the other explores the past, present, and future of student media. These pre-conferences set the stage for insightful discussions and networking opportunities, welcoming participants to engage with key issues shaping the journalistic landscape.

Deliberative Streams: April 5th

Friday, April 5th, sees the convergence of four chambers, each dedicated to a crucial aspect of journalism’s future survival:

  1. Media, Democracy, and the Public Good
  2. Rethinking Media Regulation
  3. Journalism, Data, AI, and the Digital Age
  4. Journalism in Conflict and Trauma

In these streams, diverse voices from journalism, academia, activism, and beyond will engage in robust dialogue, offering perspectives and insights to chart the way forward for the industry.

Crafting the Makhanda Declaration: April 6th

The summit culminates on Saturday, April 6th, with delegates reporting back in a plenary session on the two days of intense discussion. Based on their input, the morning will be dedicated to refining the Makhanda Declaration, shaping it into a potent call to action. Finally, the declaration will be shared with the world, symbolizing the collective commitment of participants towards advancing journalism in South Africa and Africa as a whole.

Join Us in Makhanda

As the summit draws near, we extend a warm invitation to all members of the journalistic community, civil society, and academia to join us in Makhanda from April 4th to 6th. Whether in person or virtually, your participation is crucial in shaping the future of journalism on the continent.

To register and secure your spot at the SEEDS OF CHANGE Summit, visit Let’s come together to stand in solidarity with journalists and the vital role they play in shaping informed societies. We eagerly anticipate your presence as we embark on this transformative journey.