Surveillance without borders?

Mapping the state of surveillance in Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa

The Media Policy and Democracy Project (MPDP) invites you to the launch of two new research reports on communications surveillance issues in Zimbabwe and Namibia.

Dr Admire Mare, the author of the Namibian research report, will be in conversation with the University of Johannesburg’s Professor Jane Duncan and Professor Nyasha Mboti as well as Sam Sole of the amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism – who recently brought a successful court challenge to South Africa’s surveillance laws.

While there is a growing body of research about surveillance issues in the ‘global north’, the launch these research reports will be a chance to reflect on the emerging pictures of communications surveillance in different Southern African societies. What do we know? What is still unknown or remains secret? What commonalities do we see across the region? Perhaps most importantly, what steps are needed to ensure that state surveillance practices in the region adhere to democratic principles and oversight?

Discussants:

  • Dr Admire Mare (Department of Communication, the Namibia University of Science and Technology)
  • Prof Nyasha Mboti (Department of Communication Studies, University of Johannesburg)
  • Professor Jane Duncan (School of Journalism, Film and Television, University of Johannesburg)
  • Sam Sole (Managing partner, amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism)
  • Date ■ Thursday 31 October 2019
    Time ■ 17.30-19.00
    Venue■University of Johannesburg, Faculty of Humanities Common Room, C Ring 319, Auckland Park, Kingsway Campus
    RSVP ■ jftassistant@uj.ac.za

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: Social Media, Fake News and Hate Speech

NORTH-WEST UNIVERSITY, SOUTH AFRICA
FACULTY OF HUMANITIES
INDIGENOUS LANGUAGE MEDIA IN AFRICA (ILMA) CONFERENCE
JUNE 27
28, 2020
NORTH-WEST UNIVERSITY, MAFIKENG CAMPUS, MMABATHO, SOUTH AFRICA


The advent of social media (such as Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, YouTube etc.) has brought about democratisation of communication as the public that hitherto had been considered to be consumers of messages has now also become producers. The platform of social media is open to everyone who has a device, an account to use and data or access to the internet. Communication has never been better and interesting in the history of man.

However, as we celebrate this ‘power’ of communication given to the people through social media, we also need to ponder the other side of this communication. This advent of social media and with it more opportunities for free participation by citizens in debates has given impetus to insurgent politics and also brought on us the acceleration and strengthening of post-truth, fake news and hate speeches. Before the emergence of social media, there were fake news and hate speech carried by different media in the chronology of media and communication history. These phenomena have been there since the time of communication by mere words of mouth, and through the advent of print, radio and television media. It has however become more obtrusive with the emergence of social media. This has had some deleterious impact on human relationships and the society at large. It has created crisis and fueled it to monstrous proportions.

These are some of the issues we intend to focus on in this conference. Submissions can touch on any of the following points:

  •  Theorisation around social media, fake news and hate speech
  •  Social media, Fake news, hate speech and the economy
  •  Social media, Fake news, hate speech and politics
  •  Social media, Fake news, hate speech and nationality
  •  Social media, Fake news, hate speech and race
  •  Social media, Fake news, hate speech and human relations
  •  Social media, fake news and hate speech in organisations
  •  Social media, fake news, hate speech and religion
  •  Social media, language use, fake news and hate speech
  •  Social media, indigenous language, ethnicity and hate speech
  • Social media, indigenous culture, fake news and hate speech
  •  Social media, citizen education, fake news and hate speech
  •  Social media, fake news, hate speech and xenophobia
  •  Strengths and weaknesses of various social media for fake news and hate speech
  •  Social media regulation, fake news and hate speech The list is by no means exhaustive.

Kindly submit abstracts of between 300 and 500 words to Dr. Francis Amenaghawon at

olaiyagba@yahoo.com

Papers presented at the conference, after peer-review process, will be published in Habari: ILMA Book Series. Habari is the Swahili word for News. The book series editors are Professor Abiodun Salawu and Prof. Itumeleng Mekoa.

Important Dates:

  1. Abstract Submission – February 28, 2020
  2. Acceptance/Rejection Notice – March 15, 2020
  3. Conference Registration Opens – March 30, 2020
  4. Conference – June 27 – 28, 2020

Registration Fees:

Academics – R2500.00
Students – R1000.00
International participants – USD180.00

SCREENING: ‘Under the Rainbow’ (Dir. Pamela Adie)

16:00, Saturday, 12.10.2019, AFDA Johannesburg

Pamela Addie is a Nigerian based queer rights activist.  She will be visiting South Africa to engage with activist organisations here.  GALA is working with these activist organisations such as Iranti and ISLA who are hosting Pamela.

On Saturday, 12 October, 2019 (16:00) her film “Under the Rainbow” will be screened at AFDA Johannesburg. 

‘Under The Rainbow’ is a visual memoir tracing Nigerian activist Pamela Adie’s journey of self-discovery in a powerful story of love, rejection, loss, and triumph set against the backdrop of a deeply homophobic society. 

Please join us at the film’s first Johannesburg screening which will be followed by a panel discussion with Pamela Adie, Phumi Mtetwa and Sibongile Ndashe.

Venue: AFDA, 41 Frost Avenue, Braamfontein

Date: 12 October 2019

Time: 4pm

RSVP: siphesihle@amandla.mobi

More info: 

https://africasacountry.com/2019/07/nigerias-first-lesbian-documentary

https://www.facebook.com/events/436561106990260/

Free Wits Online Course, “Media Freedom and Freedom of Expression in Africa”,  Starts 4 Oct. 2019

The Wits LINK Centre and WitsX are pleased to announce that registration is open for a free, six-week, online course on  “Media Freedom and Freedom of Expression in Africa”. 

The course begins on Friday 4 October 2019.

This free-of-charge MOOC (massive open online course), available on the global edX platform, aims to empower activists, students, regulators, journalists, lawyers, and everyone interested in ensuring a free, pluralistic and independent African media. 

When societies achieve this kind of media, they can benefit from journalism playing a critical role in democracy and development. This is the policy context whereby journalists inform citizens, defend freedom of expression for everyone, and enable access to information that some people would prefer to keep covered up.

The Wits course honours and sustains the legacy of South African media freedom and freedom of expression activist #Jeanette Minnie, who passed away in November 2016. Minnie devoted her professional life to ensuring robust civil society engagement with African media policy. She was a media activist who developed massive experience in understanding the challenges and who knew how to make changes for the better.

In the Wits course, participants get to grips with: 

  • core elements of the principles of freedom of expression, media freedom, and access to information;
  • policy and practical components necessary to democratic media ecosystems;
  • regulatory and other measures that build media pluralism and diversity;
  • mechanisms of self-regulation, co-regulation, statutory regulation and regulatory independence in democratic media ecosystems;
  • the practical and policy dimensions introduced by online media, online expression, and online information access; and
  • strategies for effective civil society engagement with policy and practice in support of democratic Africa media ecosystems.

Participants can take this dynamic, interactive and intellectually-engaging course, including its discussion forums, assignments and multiple-choice assessments, free of charge. Participants who wish to also receive a Verified Certificate of Achievement for the course, endorsed by edX and Wits University, can do so by passing one additional assessment and paying a USD49 certification fee.  

The course instructors are Prof. Justine Limpitlaw (Wits LINK Centre), Paula Fray (frayintermedia), Zoe Titus 

(Namibia Media Trust), Dr. Sarah Chiumbu (University of Johannesburg), and Koketso Moeti (Amandla.mobi), 

The course content was developed by the instructors and WitsX with support from the course’s international Advisory Committee and frayintermedia. 

Funding for course research, development, piloting and marketing has been provided by Free Press Unlimited, Bertha Foundation, Namibia Media Trust (NMT), and fesmedia Africa. Marketing support is by frayintermedia and fraycollege.

Participants wishing to enrol for the course should please go to this edX course link. 

For more information on the course, and to arrange for media interviews with course instructors, please contact: 

Patience Shawarira, fraycollege

Tel: +27 11 782 0535   

Mobile: +27 74 883 1716 

Email: pshawarira@fraycollege.com 

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS

Nominations for The South African Communications Association (SACOMM) Executive Committee are now accepted.

As per §10 of the SACOMM Constitution, it is time to Call for Nominations for Executive Committee Members for the different Streams of SACOMM. “Interest Group Conveners” (or the Executive Committee) are, with the Presidium, responsible for the daily running of SACOMM.

The SACOMM Objectives are to:

  • encourage contact and co-operation among Communication Departments in the various tertiary education institutions offering Communication Studies;
  • provide a forum to promote communication research, collaboration, and debate among communication practitioners, communication industry professionals, academics, and students;
  • promote networking and academic debate; and
  • facilitate professional communication practice in Southern Africa.

To that effect, Executive Committee members should be academics active in the interest stream or academic field they are nominated for, who are willing to uphold the SACOMM objectives throughout their term (two years) – between the conferences.

Nominations are welcomed for the Position of:

  1. Deputy President
  2. Media Studies and Journalism
  3. Screen Studies
  4. Corporate Communication
  5. Communication Studies
  6. Communication Education and Curriculum Development
  7. Communications Advocacy and Activism
  8. Emerging Scholars Stream

At the Annual General Meeting during SACOMM 2019 in Cape Town, all SACOMM members will have a chance to vote for the nominees, should there be more than one nomination for a position. 

Nominations for the Executive Committee should reach the Office of the Presidium by 29.07.2019.

Please note:

  1. The nomination process is anonymous.
  2. Nominations and self-nominations are welcome.
  3. Those who nominate another individual must first confirm that the individual is available to stand, before they make said nomination.
  4. Please follow the link below to submit a nomination: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdSbcjZD9Tjg9F8uUIEow9M_OT3sm6AxT7Ic7td0aO7BXkU0w/viewform?usp=sf_link


Further Information:

SACOMM Constitution

Interest Streams and Executive Committee


Join the SACOMM Mailing List

Get all CFP’s and SACOMM relevant communication in your inbox.

Join our Listserv by contacting Dr. Elnerine (WJ) Greeff greefwj@unisa.ac.za

We will not share your information with third parties. We communicate Calls for Papers and activities by the various Interest Groups periodically.