SJMC to hold historic international communication conference

Thu, 21.Mar.2024 10.04

By Dotto KuhengaCMU

The School of Journalism and Mass Communication (SJMC) of the University of Dar es Salaam, in collaboration with the East Africa Communication Association (EACA), is set to host a momentous international conference on communication and media studies, it has been informed.

Speaking to journalists recently about the East Africa Communication Association (EACA) conference to be held at UDSM from 28th to 30th August, 2024, SJMC Dean, Dr. Mona Mwakalinga, said the gathering would bring together more than 300 esteemed academicians and media professionals including journalists, editors, media owners and government officials, from around the globe. 

“The EACA conference serves as a vital platform for communications and media practitioners in East Africa, the Continent and beyond to convene, exchange ideas, and foster collaborations that contribute to the advancement of communication and media studies in the region”, said Dr. Mwakalinga. 

Dr. Mwakalinga said that the prestigious conference, which is scheduled to take place at the UDSM Library in Dar es Salaam, would be a pivotal event in shaping the discourse surrounding communication and media on the entire continent and the globe. 

“The theme of EACA 2024 conference will be ‘Africa and the Global Dialogue on Communication and Media’, making it an unparalleled opportunity for networking, knowledge sharing, and professional development”, she said.

She added that the conference would feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, workshops, and paper presentations, all aimed at exploring the multifaceted role of communication and media in Africa's development within the global context. 

“So far, countries that have confirmed to send their delegates in this conference including Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Rwanda, Burundi, England, USA, Germany, China, Norway and Sweden. Apart from academic and professional benefits, the EACA conference will also offer numerous advantages to both academicians and media practitioners such as networking and knowledge exchange opportunities”, she added.

Dr. Egbert Mkoko, SJMC Lecturer and EACA 2024 conference convener, explained the sub-themes of the conference namely, media innovations and sustainability in the digital era; media and information literacy in the age of artificial intelligence; gender issues and children's safety; media, democracy and elections in Africa; the rise of influencer marketing; and the dilemma of investigative journalism in Africa.

Other subthemes include reporting war and conflicts; integrating global journalism with tourism, climate change and conservation; Kiswahili and the future of African languages for communication; media discourse, representation and identity; reimagining public relations and marketing; and the future of journalism in the Global South.

About EACA

The East African Communication Association (EACA) was established in 2011 by a group of journalism, media, and communication scholars working in East Africa. EACA brings together scholars, researchers, practitioners and others involved in communication and media studies to share research on the media in the region. EACA membership is largely drawn from universities in East Africa although it is open to collaboration with journalism/media scholars and practitioners from all over the world. As such it has members from Germany, South Africa, West Africa, Norway, the United States, and El-Salvador, among others.

EACA’s aims include building networks and harnessing synergies towards building capacity for changing media and communication environments in Africa and sharing ongoing research and published work on media and communication in East Africa and beyond. EACA is a vibrant association dedicated to promoting communication studies in East Africa. It provides a platform for knowledge exchange, collaboration, and the advancement of communication and media excellence in Africa and beyond.

About SJMC

The School of Journalism and Mass Communication (SJMC) endeavors to create an environment that enables the training to meet the needs of our society and give students the best possible academic and professional education to prepare them for entry into various careers in the information communication sector.

SJMC history goes back to 1975 when it was established by the government as Tanzania School of Journalism (TSJ) offering a two-year Diploma in Journalism. In March 2002, TSJ was integrated into the University of Dar es Salaam. This led to the establishment of the Institute of Journalism and Mass Communication (IJMC) in July 2003 by the University Act of Parliament No.12 of 1970.  IJMC offers Bachelor degree programmes in Journalism, Mass Communication as well as Public Relations and Advertising.

In April 2009, IJMC was transformed into the School of Journalism and Mass Communication (SJMC) to ensure efficient delivery of the programmes. As a School of UDSM, the SJMC is poised to become the leading media training institution in the country. Currently, 300 students are enrolled in various programmes.