UNESCO workshops during the Pan African Conference on Access to Information and Highway Africa Conference in Cape TownUNESCO workshops will focus on the use of Open Education Resources in Journalism Education, Criteria of Excellence in Journalism Education and Science Journalism
UNESCO works closely with a variety of stakeholders to promote an enabling environment for freedom of expression and freedom of information. An important focus of the programme is to enable media institutions and media training centres to train media professionals to the highest ethical and professional standards to enable people to critically access, assess and use information.
UNESCO is contributing to the overall organization of the three-day Pan African Conference on Access to Information and supporting the delivery of three workshops in the context of Highway Africa. Mr Jānis Kārkliņš, UNESCO´s Assistant Director General for Communication and Information, will take part in the joint opening of the events on 17 September 2011 in Cape Town.
The Science Journalism Colloquium on Saturday 17 to Monday 19 September will focus on the three broad criteria for quality journalism training. More specifically, it will contribute towards UNESCO’s goal to improve science literacy among media professionals by incorporating it into journalism curricula. It is part of a wider initiative aimed at enhancing science literacy, facilitating journalists’ easier access to science information and knowledge as well as increasing the quantity and quality of media reporting on science and technology.
The 2nd Africa Workshop for the UNESCO Open Educational Resources (OER) Platform will focus specifically on the criteria of Journalism Curriculum and Institutional Capacity to use OER resources in journalism training institutions. Open educational resources are any type of educational materials in the public domain or released under an open-content license that allows for free use, re-use, and sharing. UNESCO developed the Model Curricula for Journalism Education in 2007 which has been adapted by more than 65 journalism schools worldwide. UNESCO is developing an OER Platform which will make the Model Curricula available as an OER and work with journalism schools to share their adaptations on the Platform. The OER Platform Workshop on Sunday 18 September will demonstrate the Platform with shared adaptations from 2 Namibian journalism Schools.
Immediately after the 2nd Africa Workshop for the UNESCO Open Educational Resources (OER) Platform, a Working Meeting “Towards excellence in journalism education” will bring together Potential Centres of Excellence and Reference in Journalism Training in Africa to take stock of the progress made in three broad criteria areas of curriculum and institutional capacity, professional and public service, external links and recognition and development plan, strategy and potential. Participants from the workshop will discuss the criteria in the light of ongoing projects and experiences of the centers. The specific projects that will be discussed include the UNESCO/DW-Akademie project on Pedagogical Methodologies in Journalism Education, Gender in Journalism Education and supporting Science Journalism in Africa.
On the eve of the meetings on 16 September 2011, the book entitled Media in Africa - Twenty years after the Windhoek Declaration on Press Freedom, published by the Media Institute of Southern Africa, will be launched at Media 24. With a foreword by Mr Jānis Kārkliņš, the book gathers contributions by different experts who assess the evolution and current situation of press freedom in the region two decades after the Windhoek Declaration was agreed upon. This key document, adopted at a meeting convened by UNESCO, would give way to the UN General Assembly’s proclamation of 3 May as World Press Freedom Day, as well as contribute to substantial changes sweeping the media sector in Africa and around the world.
The Pan African Conference on Access to Information and Highway Africa Conference offer an ideal opportunity to discuss the role of professional capacity building and supporting institutions that underpins freedom of expression, pluralism and development as an important element of media development.