As we enter the 15th month of the pandemic, the latter half of 2021 seems to be jam-packed with journalism and media conferences on the continent and across the world. Over the past year or so, we’ve learnt and come to appreciate that virtual media events allow for a wider audience attendance and more networking opportunities. The continent is not short of varying types of conferences which you can attend. 

We share a list of exciting virtual media conferences coming up in the latter half of this year in Africa that you should not miss.

Highway Africa Virtual Conference 2021

Image: Provided

When: June 21-23

Where: Online

Fee: R750 for individual tickets and R375 per person if two or more people from the same organisation register. 

Language: English 

The 2021 Highway Africa conference will take place under the backdrop of tumultuous and debilitating events that confront mainstream media and its journalism. The conference will simultaneously take a wide and close look at the impacts of these environmental factors, particularly platformization, that are redefining the media and journalism landscapes in the ‘age of uncertainty and speed’. The conference will seek to find workable practical solutions to some of these challenges and how media and journalism can exploit emerging potential opportunities, although their efforts may not be very successful because 60% of people in the developing world, particularly in Africa, have no access to the internet. For more information on the conference, click here

Digital Media Africa

Image: Provided

When: July 6- 7

Where: Online

Fee: Free for WAN-IFRA Members and R 3330 (EUR 190) for Non-members

Language: English 

Join the fifth edition of WAN-IFRA’s flagship Africa event to tackle topics affecting your media company. This special virtual edition was meant to be held in May but was pushed forward to July. It will be a two-day event packed with sessions looking into subscription strategies, revenue generation, as well as trust in media and journalism. 

Additionally, look out for the organisation’s announcement of winning entries for the Digital Media Awards Africa 2021 on July 1. The annual awards recognise publishers who have delivered unique and original digital media projects in the last 12 months. From new approaches to digital subscriptions, to impactful native advertising campaigns. For more information on the conference, click here

Radio Days Africa

Image: Provided

When: July 5- 16

Where: Online

Fee: Free 

Language: English (One session in kiSwahili)

Radio Days Africa (RDA) is the largest radio conference in Africa and it aims to promote conversations around radio’s role in the audio revolution. Held on an annual basis, RDA is presented by the Wits Radio Academy under the auspices of the Department of Journalism at the University of the Witwatersrand. Radio Days Africa aims to stimulate learning, engagement, conversation and thinking around the various aspects of the radio business, in an African context. Now its a 12-year, the conference themed “Audio Amplified”, will take place over 10 days with a morning and afternoon session. This year also sees the first kiSwahili exclusive session with Washa Radio.

Other topics to look out for include public broadcasting, future opportunities and current challenges, particularly in research and revenue. Visit the Radio Days Africa website for more information on sessions and how to register. 

Jamfest

Image: Provided

When: September 13 – 17

Where: Online

Fee: Free 

Language: English 

Jamfest is a media and journalism festival hosted by the Journalism and Media Lab (Jamlab) at Wits Journalism. The festival is directed at a diverse set of African media makers and media publics. The festival presents an opportunity for media makers and media practitioners to gain an overview of some of the innovations and changes taking place within newsrooms across Africa. This year’s Jamfest will be hosted in partnership with the Civic Tech Innovation Forum, an annual conference that brings together Africa’s civic tech community, both governmental and non-governmental, for the purpose of sharing, learning, inspiring, and overall capacity building. 

This year’s conferences will include a virtual expo, a joint opening plenary and closing plenaries with CTIN, workshops and masterclasses. Sign up for the conference newsletter for updates.

African Investigative Conference 

Image: Provided

When: October 11-13 

Type: Hybrid

Fee: TBC (Check website for details)

Language: English and French

The 17th edition of the continent’s biggest annual gathering of muckrakers, the African Investigative Journalism Conference (AIJC) take place during its usual “timeslot” of the year, in October, but this time around two weeks earlier and will run just over two-and-a-half days. Join the continent’s best investigative journalists for 25 + sessions of great stories, new tools and techniques, networking and masterclasses. AIJC is organised by the Journalism Department of the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. Africa’s biggest annual gathering of working journalists, it is an opportunity to share great African work, learn new skills, hear how it is done and share experiences. Visit the website to sign up for this newsletter to receive updates.

Global Fact 8

Image: Provided

When: October 20-23

Where: Online

Fee: Free

Language: English 

The International Fact-Checking Network will host the world’s largest fact-checking summit to unite creators and consumers of fact-based reporting and uphold the integrity of the universal information ecosystem. For more information, click here.

The West Africa Media Excellence Conference and Awards

Image: Provided

When: 22 October

Where: Online and in-person in Accra, Ghana

Fee: Free

Language: English

The awards, hosted by the Media Foundation for West Africa, will involve both panel discussions and an award ceremony to recognise the best journalists across West Africa. The event will also explore issues that authorities and the media in West Africa are grappling with in the internet age. For details, click here.

Africa Media Summit

Image: Provided

When: November 18-19

Where: Online

Fee: Free

Language: English 

In this two-day virtual Africa Media Summit by the International News Media Association (INMA), hear directly from diverse media voices in Africa — North, South, East, West — as the summit dissect the business challenges and tease the remedies exacerbated by a global pandemic. For more information click here.

International Conference on Fashion Journalism and Digital Media

When: December 13-14

Where: Online and in-person in Cairo, Egypt

Fee: €100 – €400

Language: English 

The International Conference on Fashion Journalism and Digital Media aims to bring together leading academic scientists, researchers and research scholars to exchange and share their experiences and research results on all aspects of fashion journalism and digital media. For more information, click here.

Conference on Public Health in Africa

When: December 14-16

Where: Online 

Fee: Free

Language: English 

The Conference on Public Health in Africa 2021, organised by the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and African Union, will see a number of heads of state and leading scientific experts focus on lessons learned from Covid-19 and how the continent charts a new path forward for public health. Journalists are encouraged to register as media representatives. For more information, click here.

Have we missed any other forums, conferences, summits on the continent that should be on this list? Send us an email to info@jamlab.africa and we will update this article.

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