Day 2, 2 September

Dr Julie Reid is a lecturer and academic in media studies at the University of South Africa (UNISA). When she’s not defending citizens’ rights to information and media freedom, she’s lecturing, or learning to ride her new motorcycle.

Currently data journalism has South African newsrooms (and Highway Africa delegates) abuzz about new possibilities. Dr Peter Verweij spoke about the opportunities and importance of data journalism specifically in South Africa.
In case you missed it, here is Verweij’s speech, brought to you by Elna Schütz.

At this year’s Highway Africa there is a lot of discussion around new media and its possibilities. Speaker Indra De Lanerolle has extensive experience in internet and mobile communications, focusing specifically on the effect they have on the mass media.
He speaks to Elna Schütz about what telecommunications mean for journalists and their audiences.

Graham Welch, the General Manager for Editorial Policy at the SABC, held a workshop to discuss the long-overdue changes in policy being negotiated currently.
With a series of stakeholder meetings behind them, Welch’s team will start holding public hearings till November, which will result in a draft. The public is encouraged to comment on this, and the final policies should be put into place around 2014/5.
The editorial policies apply to all branches within the SABC including television and radio. They span issues such as language, universal access, local content and religious programming.
Welch spoke to Elna Schütz about why a strong editorial policy is critically important, yet no magic bullet. Although the SABC policy should be renewed every 5 years, the last review was in 2003.

Who makes better journalists, men or women? Sizani Weza and Karen Kelley of the US Embassy in Harare, Zimbabwe, suggest that maybe it’s women. The Zimbabwe Women Journalists Mentoring Program (WJMP) brought 12 aspiring female journalists to the Highway Conference, the hub of journalists on the African Continent. Relebone Myambo caught up with them during the buzz of tea break to hear their thoughts on mentoring, women in journalism, and networking.

Day 1, 1 September

Highway Africa is a great place to network and connect with journalists around the globe. Here you can meet the journos you’ve only admired as a by-line on a page.
Nexi Dennis, a business development journalist from the Seychelles, tells Elna Schütz about a special Highway Africa meeting today.

The Telkom Highway Africa New Media Awards are held yearly to reward innovative use of ICTs in Africa. This year’s finalists are Nigel Mugamu (Zimbabwe) and Jaco Liebenberg (South Africa) in the category for Innovative use of Technology for Community Engagement; John Mokwetsi (Zimbabwe) and Prof Anton Harber (South Africa) for Innovative Newsroom; and Dorothy Dadedjo Fouba (Cameroon) and Limbikani Makani Kabweza (Zimbabwe) for the Best IT Blog category. The Awards ceremony is to be held Monday 2 September at the Monument. Michelle Atagana, Managing Editor at Memeburn and one of this year’s judges, talks to Open Source’s Relebone Myambo about the Awards.

The first delegate
While many delegates are excitedly attending conference for the first or second time, Adam Clayton Powell is one of the few that is here for the 17th time. With almost fifty years of experience in news and media behind him, the current Senior Fellow at the University of Southern California’s has many a story to tell.
Elna Schütz sat down with him to hear his opinions of mobile and community media as well as some Highway Africa memories.

Dr Jacinta Mwende Maweu has a PhD in media Ethics and the Political Economy from Rhodes University, and is currently a lecturer of Media Studies at the University of Nairobi in Kenya. In this short profile, she speaks to Open Source’s Relebone Myambo about her passion for accountability, media ethics, and media practice. By Relebone R. Myambo

Journalists, editors and academics from near and far descended on Grahamstown today in anticipation of Highway Africa. The debate begins once again at the 17th edition of the conference that brings together members of the media from throughout Africa and beyond. Elna Schütz spoke to the delegates as they got settled.

It’s day 1 of Highway Africa and we spoke to Michael Schmidt, director of the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism (IAJ) about Conference, social media, and his take on the theme, speaking truth to power.
Photograph by Maciej Lacny