Ajen launches website, plans conference

The African Journalism Education Network (Ajen) has launched a website packed with new features, announced a new partnership with the research portal Afromedia.network and is working towards another continental gathering of educators in August. 

The online home for the organisation, www.ajenafrica.com, is now live, with a new listing of upcoming events, details of the organisation and its activities and listings of opportunities, events and news.  A members’ area with resources for educators is in preparation.  The site replaces a web page hosted by the Wits Centre for Journalism, journalism.co.za. 

The site also links directly to the online research portal www.afromedia.network, which provides resources for African researchers of media, communication and journalism.  Members of Ajen  can automatically be added to the site’s listing of researchers.  Afromedia is also contributing a monthly listing of new publications to the Ajen newsletter, AJENda, and republishes news from AJENda.

“We are pleased to note significant progress by the organisation just a few months after a large gathering of journalism educators agreed on the need to create the forum,” said Prof Franz Krüger, founding president of Ajen.

He added that the newly elected board has been working hard on several other projects. “We have identified several activities to strengthen journalism education at a time of unprecedented challenge.  We want to support the work of our members, who play a critical role in ensuring citizens are adequately informed. We also want to ensure that African perspectives are heard globally in discussions about changing media and information landscapes.” 

The organisation is planning for a conference in August, likely to be held in Nairobi.  Details of venue and theme will be announced soon.

Board members are also working on a project to develop new teaching materials and a possible attachment scheme to take educators into newsrooms and ensure they retain contact with the changing reality of journalism. 

Ajen was constituted at its Kigali conference in August 2023, and is also now formally registered as a non-profit organisation under South African law.  The pan-continental organisation plans a membership drive. It is open to anyone interested in journalism education in Africa and who supports the Ajen aims.  An application form is available on the site (LINK).  Journalism schools and organisations can also apply for institutional membership.

This article was first published in the Ajen Newsletter