The Wits Centre for Journalism will host journalism teachers from across the continent for a one-day round table meeting in September.

The in-person event is planned for September 13, and will bring members of the African Journalism Educators Network (Ajen) together for discussions around campus media, decolonising journalism education, indigenous language journalism and other issues of common concern. The overall theme of the gathering is “Bringing the classroom closer to the African newsroom.”

The gathering takes place directly before the annual conference of the SA Communications Association (Sacomm), which will also be hosted at Wits between September 14 and 16.

Participants in the round table will stay on for the Sacomm conference, which will also feature a panel discussion hosted by Ajen on teaching journalism.

Organiser Prof Franz Krüger said invitations were still being finalised, but it was hoped that leaders in journalism education from all corners of sub-Saharan Africa would attend.

“It is an opportunity to strengthen journalism teaching at a time of extensive challenge to the media.  We hope to build Ajen into a network of real value for colleagues who often work in comparative isolation. We have much to share.”

Ajen is a loose network of journalism teachers. A previous meeting was planned for early 2020, but then had to be moved online when Covid restrictions made travel impossible. Several meetings have been held online, as have a series of webinars.  Wits Journalism has also published a newsletter and a mapping study of journalism training centres on the continent. 

It is hoped that the round table meeting in September will further strengthen the network.