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Teach New Media in Africa



Presentation made at Unesco workshop for the African J-School Centres of Excellence, in Windhoek Namibia, May 2009. The slideshow motivates why African J-Schools need to mainstream new media in J-School curricula.

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Teach New Media in Africa

  1. 1. Teach New Media in Africa Presented at Workshop on Unesco J-School Centres of Excellence in Africa Polytechnic of Namibia, Windhoek, Namibia May 2009 Jude Mathurine [email_address]
  2. 2. Objectives <ul><li>What’s the fuss about new media? </li></ul><ul><li>What are some trends will drive new media in Africa? </li></ul><ul><li>Why should I think about mainstreaming new media? </li></ul>
  3. 3. Changing context Africa constitutes about 3% of world’s Internet users 10% of South Africans have Internet access 5% in Nigeria 5% in Namibia 0,5% in Madagascar 8% in Kenya 2,4% in Uganda
  4. 4. Changing context <ul><li>In Africa, the cost of basic broadband per month was $366 in 2006. In Europe the average cost was estimated at $40 </li></ul><ul><li>Bandwidth costs WILL come down </li></ul><ul><li>WACS </li></ul><ul><li>Seacom </li></ul><ul><li>Eassy </li></ul><ul><li>03B – Google low orbiting satellite </li></ul><ul><li>Digital migration – various forms of Set Top Boxes permit enhanced services such as limited Internet surfing </li></ul><ul><li>Africa must migrate by 2015 </li></ul><ul><li>Could we see interactive TV for e-governance, education and news and information </li></ul>
  5. 5. Rise of the mobile native <ul><li>Mobile web will be to Africa what fixed line internet was to the developed world </li></ul><ul><li>2002 to 2008: global fixed line subscriptions grew from 1 billion to 1.27 billion. </li></ul><ul><li>2002 to 2008: mobile subscriptions grew from 1 billion to 4.1 billion </li></ul><ul><li>Africa 2007: 28,5m landlines vs 198m mobiles and counting </li></ul><ul><li>China: 30% of citizens access the Internet on their mobile phone. </li></ul><ul><li>Jamaica: Mobile web surpassed fixed line Internet </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile leapfrogs infrastructure and distribution limitations of fixed line Internet through GSM, 3G and WiMax </li></ul>
  6. 6. Changing context <ul><li>Most African media are in a growth phase but this is no reason to be complacent </li></ul><ul><li>Consider the digital natives esp. the youth who make up the majority of our population and people in high LSMs </li></ul><ul><li>How do 33m Africans in global diaspora who contribute about $20 billion in remittances annually (2006) get news and information? </li></ul><ul><li>Crisis in economic model </li></ul><ul><li>The high LSMs are what advertisers are interested in (your top 5 or 10% of your population) </li></ul>
  7. 8. Why teach digital media? <ul><li>A range of new literacies and competences are expected of today’s undergraduates </li></ul><ul><li>This exacerbates pressures already experienced by educators to offer basic skills in undergraduate programme </li></ul><ul><li>Can culminate in more informed perspectives and local research </li></ul>
  8. 9. Top Websites in your country <ul><ul><li>MADAGASCAR </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Yahoo </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Google </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Facebook </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sobika </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Windows Live </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Free </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>MSN </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>KENYA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Yahoo </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Google </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Facebook </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Windows Live </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>MSN </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Youtube </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogger </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wikipedia </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tagged </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ZA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Facebook </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Google </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Yahoo </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Youtube </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wikipedia </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>News24 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogger </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gumtree </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>MSN </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>NIGERIA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Yahoo </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Facebook </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Windows Live </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Youtube </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>MSN </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wikipedia </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogger </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>If the future of the world’s media is digital, then Africa has to make up ground. Western search engines, aggregators, social media and social networks dominate audience and online advertising spend.
  9. 10. Why teach digital media? <ul><li>As media consumption patterns change, these transformations have profound implications for identity formation, and democratic consolidation/fragmentation and empowerment </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional media will come under increasing threat from migrating audiences and advertising to more convenient, interactive, mobile, customisable, always-on, always available media </li></ul><ul><li>New media does not immediately supplant traditional media but disrupts and offers opportunities and challenges to traditional media’s future </li></ul>
  10. 11. Why teach digital media? <ul><li>New media needs to be taught alongside traditional media like radio, television, and newspaper journalism </li></ul><ul><li>Centres of Excellence have to prepare students based on present and future scenarios and challenges </li></ul><ul><li>Empowered graduates could help African media learn from lessons of media companies in the North to survive and thrive </li></ul><ul><li>Proof: NML 12 years old – its alumni are leaders and thinkers in this sector </li></ul>
  11. 12. NML emphasises PRAXIS …and not just Practice underpinned by fundamental skills in journalism production and creative, critical and entrepreneurial thinking Type Text Photo Audio Video Graphic Motion Graphic Animation
  12. 13. Why teach digital media? <ul><li>African journalists don’t know what they don’t know </li></ul><ul><li>Google is not the Internet </li></ul><ul><li>Abuse of intellectual property rights * </li></ul><ul><li>Email is primary communication tool but seldom used for research * </li></ul><ul><li>Comprehensive education or Africans will be forced to continue to use other people’s (even about themselves) and not as producers of own content in own languages </li></ul><ul><li>African issues still continue to be mediated mainly through Western lens </li></ul><ul><li>Data security leaves newsrooms vulnerable to virus and data hacking </li></ul>* Berger, G (ed). 2005. Doing Digital Journalism – How Southern African Newsgatherers are using ICT. School of Journalism and Media Studies. Rhodes University.
  13. 14. New Media <ul><li>New media cannot afford to be either a specialisation OR mainstreamed, it has to be BOTH </li></ul><ul><li>Each modality has a digital trajectory where the nuances of new platforms for the modality are learnt within a context of multimedia storytelling for different genres eg. News, documentary etc </li></ul>Radio (Audio) Print (Text) TV (audio visual) Photography (visual) Audio Visual TV DTTV DVD ONLINE VIDEO STREAMING VIDEO MOBILE VIDEO
  14. 15. Why teach/mainstream Digital Journalism? <ul><li>Media companies evolve from single platform media publishers to digital news publishers exploiting multiple modalities, local and global audiences. </li></ul><ul><li>Easiest way to encourage informed academic research on new media is to begin grappling with topics in your own teaching courses </li></ul><ul><li>Mainstreaming offers organisational efficiencies within human resource and technology constraints </li></ul><ul><li>Materiel in the online/multimedia course overlaps with Report writing and editing, Broadcast Writing and Reporting, Media & Society, Media Law and Media Ethics courses </li></ul>
  15. 16. What skills, attitudes, socio-cultural, legal and ethical understanding and knowledge of the world are needed by local 'journalists' in the 21st century as result of globalisation and convergence?
  16. 17. <ul><li>Reporting & Writing </li></ul><ul><li>Writing for the web </li></ul><ul><li>Promotion of online content through SMO and SEO </li></ul><ul><li>Analysing web metrics </li></ul><ul><li>Repurposing and re-editing for web and mobile </li></ul><ul><li>Newsroom structures e.g. hub and spoke, collaborative reporting (pro-am models) </li></ul><ul><li>Online genres and hybrid news formats </li></ul><ul><li>Agenda setting and gatekeeping to gatewatching </li></ul><ul><li>Netiquette </li></ul><ul><li>Computer assisted research and reporting </li></ul><ul><li>Statistical analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Data security </li></ul>
  17. 18. <ul><li>Broadcast reporting & writing </li></ul><ul><li>Broadcast models > narrowcasting models </li></ul><ul><li>Multimedia storytelling </li></ul><ul><li>Digital photography > audio slideshows, visual galleries </li></ul><ul><li>Radio journalism > podcasting, layering audio for multimedia packaging, audio streaming </li></ul><ul><li>online video, interactive video on demand, vlogging, mobile video, video streaming </li></ul><ul><li>Electronic Communications laws </li></ul><ul><li>Digital migration policy </li></ul>
  18. 19. <ul><li>Media & Society </li></ul><ul><li>Globalisation, convergence, new media </li></ul><ul><li>Historical development and political economy of local and global Internet /s </li></ul><ul><li>The Information Society debates </li></ul><ul><li>Digital Divides </li></ul><ul><li>Public journalism > citizen journalism, ‘open’ journalisms </li></ul><ul><li>Social networks, virtual communities and digital identity construction </li></ul><ul><li>New media’s multiple impact on the ‘public sphere’ </li></ul><ul><li>Passive audience > Active audience > Cultural production thesis </li></ul>
  19. 20. <ul><li>Media law </li></ul><ul><li>Laws and policies introduce new rights and responsibilities but can also be accompanied by state censorship and control </li></ul><ul><li>ICT and telco laws increasingly impact on media development and media freedom </li></ul><ul><li>Electronic intellectual property, freedom of expression, online privacy </li></ul><ul><li>Policy development for digital media e.g Privacy Policy, Terms of Use, Content licensing </li></ul>
  20. 21. <ul><li>Media management </li></ul><ul><li>Business models for traditional media have changed. Most African media still healthy. How to keep it that way? </li></ul><ul><li>Google Adsense and Adwords </li></ul><ul><li>Online revenue models </li></ul><ul><li>Change management in newsrooms </li></ul><ul><li>Search engine optimisation </li></ul><ul><li>Social media optimisation </li></ul>
  21. 22. <ul><li>Learning by doing </li></ul><ul><li>Cross platform collaboration encourages understanding of how convergence environments work </li></ul><ul><li>Praxis based assignments incorporating review of literature, desktop research, interviews with media leaders, surveys of new media users etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Industry internships/projects </li></ul>
  22. 23. “ This is a time …for new pedagogical experiments to see what works and what doesn’t in the new millennium…But we should also resist the hype, maintain a critical attitude and pedagogy and continue to combine print literacy and classical materials with new literacies and materials.” (Douglas Kellner 2002)
  23. 24. Questions? Imibuzo? Maswali? Enkosi! Thank you! Asante Sana! Merci!