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Whistleblowers and Mischief-makers: The Ethics of Scandal
10am - 4pm London College of Communication: Boardroom 21 Nov, 2008
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01 Dec, 2008
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Development, Governance and the Media

The role of the media in building African society

A major international conference at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) Thursday 22 March

Can more be done to help the media promote development and hold governments to account in Africa? That is the core question for a major international conference to be held next month.

A senior DFID figure and Eric Chinje, senior communications officer at the World Bank and vice chair of the World Bank/IMF Africa Club, will give the keynote addresses.

A special session will provide ‘The Journalist’s Perspective’, with top journalists from the UK and Africa, including RTS Presenter of the Year, Channel 4’s Jon Snow and CNN African Journalist of the Year 2006, Shola Ashunkeye, debating their experiences from differing journalistic perspectives of how the media works in practice.

Organised by POLIS, the journalism think tank at the LSE and the London College of Communication, the conference will ask:

  • How can the international development community respond effectively to the credible demand from Africa for the media to play a role in its development?
  • How much can the news media in Africa positively promote African development and good governance?
  • How successful have journalists been in challenging stereotypes?

Sessions throughout the day will cover:

  • Key Players, Key Perspectives
  • Media and Power
  • Media and the Millennium Development Goals
  • Media and New Technology
  • Media and Fragile States

Speakers include

  • Eric Chinje, former ‘editor-in-chief’ at Cameroon Radio and Television and currently senior communications officer at the World Bank and vice chair of the World Bank/IMF Africa Club 
  • Dr Fackson Banda, Rhodes University
  • Jon Snow, Channel 4 News
  • Shola Ashunkeye, CNN African Journalist of the Year 2006
  • Amadou Mahtar Ba, President, AllAfrica Global Media
  • Paul Mitchell, Communications Manager, World Bank

Charlie Beckett, director of POLIS, said “There is a growing demand from Africa for the media to play a role in its development. By bringing together academics, policy makers and media practitioners who work in the field, we hope to create a lively dynamic that will consider fresh perspectives on how the media can be used effectively. We want to come up with realistic ways to challenge unfair perceptions and constructively deliver change in Africa. At a time of rapid technological change it is vital that the UK Government, NGOs and the industry take the opportunities to promote development and good governance through the media.”

Development, Governance and the Media: the role of the media in building African society is on Thursday 22 March at 10.30m in the Old Theatre, Old Building, LSE, Houghton Street, London WC2A. Registration is required.

Contact: To register to attend this event, to arrange interviews with participants or for more information, contact Laura Kyrke-Smith, POLIS, on 020 7107 5249 or email