This was an amazing, stirring conference filled with great sessions, presentations, insights and discussions. The Highway Africa conference is said to be the largest gathering of African journalists at any given time. There was a great representation of media practitioners, all in all, a great atmosphere.
The intense two-day conference programme  had participants deciding which sessions to attend, as it was not possible to sit in through all. Owing to the amazing impulses I got a sense of, I’ve tried to capture highlights from tweets generated from the good folk at the conference, under the #Highway13 hashtag. For ease of perusal, I storified the tweets thematically, as per concurrent sessions, especially from the second day of the conference. (Will try my best to capture highlights from day 1 as well.)
*UPDATE: Links to podcasts, and keynote address highlights from both days of the conference*
Highlights from Keynote Addresses:
Director of BBC Global News, Peter Horrocks, delivered a keynote address on Media, Politics and Accountability, summarized here. He spoke on the ethics of journalism, and how the BBC can and does support ethical standards in African media. (Full text of his speech also available here.) It was interesting to listen to the speech, as it came hot off the heels of BBC Africa’s Debate about the role of international media in Africa, in which I also happened to be a panelist.
“Ethical journalism ensures that phone hacking scandals are not repeated.” Peter Horrocks.
Dr. Peter Veirweij, on the second day, delivered a very interesting keynote on Data Speaking Truth to Power, where he emphasized why the future of journalism lies in data. His full presentation is available here. Some interesting highlights and ‘quotables’ from his presentation include:
Journalism is producing truth-seeking stories in the public interest based on data.
With the rise of social media we need a way to make the news, not just rehash it.
While using the tools of science for data journalism, it’s key to abandon the jargon of science (in reporting).
[VIDEO] Data Journalists are the new punks.

His full presentation is available here.
Highlights from Day 2′s (mid-morning)Parallel Sessions: 
 Themes covered include Internet Services, Privacy and Freedom of Expression (ethics, government role, social networks), Speaking truth to power? Who speaks? 
Whose truth? and  Youth Political Participation and Accountability (in South Africa).
It was unfortunate that these run as parallel sessions. I happened to be presenting on one about The role of Social Media & Alternative Media in Elections & Accountability, in which I shared findings from research conducted and projects deployed in Kenya during the 2013 General Elections. I didn’t get to attend most of these wonderful sessions, but thankfully insights were populated on Twitter, for curation here :)
Highlights from the Media Management in The New Age Session (day 2).

Presentations by Jude Mathurine, New Media Lecturer , Rhodes University and Chaacha Mwita, Thomson Foundation

I thoroughly enjoyed this session, as it addressed matters of media management, and managing the managers, with the Nation Media Group cited as a case study. The session was followed by the launch of a book with the same title: Media Management in the New Age: How Managers Lead Media in Eastern and Southern Africa   that I highly recommend to the practitioners in this space. The tweets curated here are highlights. More on these presentations available in the aforementioned book.

Here’s a link to the highlights: http://storify.com/NiNanjira/highway-africa-2013-conference-speaking-truth-to-p

  • http://nml.ru.ac.za/ New Media Lab

    Glad you found the presentation edifying. SPI hopes to be able to put the chapters up on a standalone website soon. Now if I can just find enough time to post the Powerpoint on Slideshare.

    • http://nanjira.com/ Nanjira Sambuli

      Please do and please share!

      Glad I grabbed a copy of the book, look forward to getting down to it!

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