by Baphe Malusi Phukwana
The first day of the conference was interesting; I met up with the other students that are in the FJP programme. They are all nice and friendly people. We attended two sessions, the first session was really interesting, they spoke about interesting issues such as, the impact of media in Africa, the effects of economic melt down and how the media covered it and the quality of news produced in Africa. The main issue was that, does Africa have journalists that will promote the continent and write good news stories rather than on focusing on stories that reflect a bad image about the continent. Also and how the world cup stories are being covered, the foreign media sensationalising and trying to put Africa on the bad light. They also stated that African media is still dominated by western view of what is news.
I can say Highway Africa is trying to establish and promote press and broadcast freedom in the African content, HWA is equipping and informing the new generation of journalists to be more interested into news that promote the good image of the continent. Also try to come up with our own methods of managing and controlling newsrooms and news content, meaning that media should take hold of its self so that through out the whole of Africa quality news are published. I believe with this programme good quality journalists will be produced and better news quality will be published.
This programme will also help me be a better journalist, be the type of journalist or watchdog that Africa expects me to be. It will also help to equip myself into writing what is news worthy and high light aspects in the African continent which in some way promote the image of the continent and how it operates. I will also get a chance to express myself. The highway Africa programme is offering many opportunities for me and the rest of the journalism students. I’m given a chance to network with people that are already in the field and they will help me in getting into the field of journalism. I’m also gaining knowledge from people that already have experience in the field.
This will help me to boost my confidence in socialising skill with people and also being given an opportunity into expressing my views about current political and social issues in the country and the rest of the continent. This programme will also help to broaden my knowledge about things that I may not know. It is my duty as a journalist in training to go back to my institution and my community to report and practise what I have and will learn from this conference. Let them know about issues that really matter and try and work with my community into publishing news that are off high quality and are uplifting. We as journalist we should not always focus on news that are negative and we should strive to get the news out to the public no matter what, using any form of communication, it may be a blog, radio station, your twitter page, etc.