At AMDF, we see development journalism as the type of journalism that focuses on national development, especially in developing countries. However, the concept is yet to be understood by many journalists in Africa.

Each time one reads the newspapers, or listens to the broadcast stations, it is clear that the media in Africa devote greater attention to political leaders in their stories. Hardly do journalists highlight development issues, or critically analyse claims on development projects – this practice negatively affects development and growth in their nations.

This is happening majorly because there are many quacks in journalism practice in Africa, who neither study journalism, nor get challenged on the need to update their knowledge through latest researches by scholars.

It is also happening because the media is majorly owned by business people, who care less about professionalism, but profits, contracts, or some form of favour from the people in power.

On the other hand, there is a huge gap created by absence of a platform where journalist will routinely meet to rub minds on theory and practice of development journalism.

Rationale for ACDJ

No doubt, the journalists in Africa need a broader professional platform, beyond the usual 2-day workshops organised by non-journalism organisations. They need a place where they will meet and freely interact with colleagues, scholars and like minds on development journalism, in order to understand the concept of development within the context of journalism.

Sadly, there is no Development Journalism Conference in Africa. This is to say there is no professional gathering that meets the professional needs of majority of journalists, or development journalism scholars on the continent, as far as development journalism meeting is concerned.

Essentially, no opportunity exists for professional development journalists and scholars to meet for the purposes of networking, exchanging, or sharing of ideas.

The ACDJ Initiative

With this in mind, Africa Media Development Foundation (AMDF) which has been organising the Annual MediaAfrica Conference, has re-organised and transformed the gathering and rename it Africa Conference on Development Journalism (ACDJ).

The annual theme is decided by AMDF based on trends and organisational area of focus, or interest.

The ACDJ is meant to be an avenue for the exchange of ideas to address current and emerging issues facing Development Journalism in Africa. It is also meant to create a community of learning that will support the growth of Development Journalism on the continent.

During the conference, innovative ideas are expected to be shared and new information exchanged among participants and experts.

ACDJ’s approach is both professional and academic, where journalists come together to discuss on new trends and opportunities in journalism, and scholars share from their ongoing research, or findings.

By design, ACDJ will feature plenary, workshop, symposium, panel discussion, seminar, poster session and side events.

Day one of the ACDJ conference will be dedicated to the AMDF Media Awards, where journalists who demonstrated skills and professionalism will be recognised with plaques and if possible, cash awards.

The conference will also open a window for participants to network with vendors and make new connections.

Like other conferences around the world, ACDJ will feature a keynote speaker each day, who will deliver a keynote speech. The speakers will be eminent personalities in either media, journalism, academia, development, or relevant field. Their presence is meant to attract more people to attend the conference.

Different sessions of the ACDJ;

  • Plenary Session: this is the general session where all participants of the conference are seated in one hall for an activity. The activity may include media award, keynote address, other speeches, paper, or panel discussions.
  • Symposium: this is a plenary activity where several professionals/scholars deliver short addresses on a topic or related topics. It is an avenue for experts to highlight their recent findings, or developments in their research. Here, presentation of original research is done by the researchers themselves.
  • Seminar a discussion on a particular topic. They are usually educational in nature and attendees are expected to gain new knowledge or skills at the end of the seminar.
  • Workshop: this is a breakaway session activity, where a hands-on experience presentation is made to participants with demonstrations and activities; the amount of time allocated to workshop is usually limited.
  • Round-Table: this is a plenary activity where thoughts are shared and opinions exchanged on a certain topic, usually political or commercial. In the case of ACDJ, limited number of participants will sit in a semi-circle, or straight line, facing the audience.
  • Poster Session: poster session is the presentation of peer reviewed research by an individual or group. For this purpose, ACDJ will reserved a hall for poster sessions where each researcher, or teams will stand by their poster and illustrate their methods and outcomes to interested participants.
  • Side Event: these are activities organised by partners and supporters, and they include networking sessions, workshops, meetings, and presentations, among others. They are opportunities where the organisers engage interested participants, meet to discuss on their own area of focus. These events are either conducted in the Conference venue or at nearby venues, but outside the conference hours, or days. Due to limited number of halls and audio/visual equipment within the Conference venue, a limited number of events will be accepted to hold within the Conference venue. Organisations wishing to hold a side event during the conference should first apply to the planning committee and be given permission to carry out such event.