A series of webinars brought to you by Highway Africa at Rhodes University’s School of Journalism and Media Studies (JMS). Highway Africa (HA), the biggest conference series for African journalists on the continent, today launches a series of webinars that critically examine the difficult trajectories that we, as humanity broadly and as Africans in particular, need to navigate to rebuild our increasingly uncertain and unstable futures. As a continent of innovators and long-time masters of making-do under centuries of challenging circumstances, we know we’re smart enough and resourceful enough to influence a better future. This includes the future of journalism and media, the future of public conversation and its shared ethical, political and social understandings, the future of the humanities and the academe and its struggle for relevance, the future of the African continent as the world increasingly ignores us, and the future of humanity in a rapidly changing planet. With the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and the growth of internet platforms, smart cities and biotechnology, the future has increasingly become unpredictable, with the spaces for journalism and public conversation shifting and disappearing under our feet. The climate change crisis and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic have fundamentally disrupted the narratives of unlimited progress and prosperity ahead, challenging us to revisit our dreams for the future and the place of media, public discourse and credible and accurate news and information in this space.
The Highway Africa Conference is a project of Rhodes University (Grahamstown, South Africa). The 24-year old event is supported by a variety of partners including Government, corporate South Africa and development agencies. The key focus is the impact of digital technologies (internet and mobile) on journalism and the media and, by extension, society.