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CFP: African Women in Media 2021 Conference


Call for Papers 

AWiM 2021 Conference 

The Future of Media in Africa: Building Resilience in a COVID19 World 

Conference Date: 2-3 November 2021, online 

Submission Deadline: 01 September 2021 (DEADLINE EXTENDED TO 15 September 2021)


African Women in Media (AWiM) welcomes submissions for the 2021 virtual conference, ‚ÄėThe Future of Media in Africa: Building Resilience in a COVID19 World‚Äô.¬†¬†

Building Resilience  

In this year’s virtual conference, we invite presentations on the impact of COVID19 on media in Africa, the gaps it revealed for media industries, women in media, and forward-looking solutions to address these.   

COVID-19 has no doubt changed media industries. Our research into the impact of COVID-19 on East African women journalists found that a staggering 63% of respondents said their jobs had been affected during the pandemic. 52% of respondents were placed on unpaid leave. The industry also saw many organisational casualties, with some newsrooms shutting down completely. Alongside these impacts were changes in how we work and gather news. Sexual harassment also increased on the digital platforms which respondents were now using to engage with colleagues. According to a 2021 UNESCO report on online violence against women journalists, 73% of survey respondents said they had experienced online violence.  

Therefore, the theme for AWiM21 takes a look forward into the future of media in Africa in a COVID-19 world. It invites speakers to reflect on their research and experiences during the pandemic as the starting point to consider the longer-term impacts on the industry. It specifically seeks to identify new practices and solutions that academia, media organisations, practitioners, and policy actors might employ.   

We look forward to presentations that engage critically with the notion of building back better in the context of the intersection of media and women’s rights and empowerment. The looming question is what did the pandemic reveal about the true status of women’s rights and gender equality in Africa and the media.  

We are delighted that a selection of papers presented at the conference will be published in special issues of international peer-reviewed journals or as part of an edited book.   

Guiding Questions  

  1. What are the emerging theoretical approaches that can help us make sense of the future of media in Africa in a covid19 world?  
  2. How might these emerging theoretical approaches impact the intersection of gender, media, crises and other relevant disciplines?  
  3. What have been the varying experiences of women in media during the pandemic?  
  4. How might we better support women in media going forward?   
  5. What might media organisations learn from the impact of the pandemic?  
  6. How did journalism practice change in African newsrooms during the pandemic?  
  7. How might journalism practice change in Africa following the pandemic?  
  8. How might media build back better and be better prepared for other world-changing events?  
  9. How did audience engagement change?  
  10. What was the impact of fake news? How did African newsrooms respond to the ‚Äėinfodemic‚Äô?¬†¬†
  11. What has been the mental health impact of reporting on the pandemic, and how have newsrooms responded to this?  
  12. What new business models emerged for newsrooms during the pandemic, and how might we build on this going forward?  
  13. What were the financial challenges for newsrooms?  

How might we build back better?   

In exploring these areas, the conference welcomes papers, panel proposals and workshops from researchers, practitioners, CSOs and policy professionals in the following topics and related areas:  

  • Gender¬†and¬†media¬†¬†
  • Media and¬†crises¬†¬†
  • Health communication¬†¬†
  • Resilience and resistance¬†¬†¬†
  • Representation, identity, ideology¬†¬†
  • Misinformation, disinformation and¬†infodemic¬†¬†
  • Fake news, women and new media¬†
  • Journalism¬†¬†
  • Global media management¬†¬†
  • Globalisation¬†¬†
  • Global politics¬†¬†
  • Global¬†agendas¬†¬†
  • Discourse analysis and global implications¬†¬†
  • Feminist studies¬†¬†
  • Postcolonial studies¬†¬†
  • Cultural studies¬†¬†
  • Culture and media policy¬†¬†
  • Participatory communication¬†¬†
  • Risk communication¬†¬†
  • Audience¬†¬†
  • Digital ethics and safety¬†¬†
  • Online violence¬†¬†
  • Sextortion¬†¬†¬†
  • Community media¬†¬†
  • Communication and¬†development¬†¬†
  • Political¬†communication¬†¬†
  • State/Media¬†relations¬†¬†
  • Propaganda¬†¬†
  • Communities and¬†networks¬†¬†
  • Digital¬†empowerment¬†¬†
  • Diversity and¬†inclusion¬†¬†
  • Women‚Äôs¬†rights and¬†empowerment¬†¬†
  • Class and¬†gender relations¬†¬†
  • Feminism and¬†political¬†participation¬†¬†
  • Gender¬†policies¬†¬†
  • International¬†law and¬†human¬†rights¬†¬†
  • Migration¬†¬†
  • Peace and¬†security¬†¬†
  • Visual culture¬†¬†

Conference format   

AWiM21 conference will take place entirely online from 2-3 November 2021. There is no registration fee and no honorariums. Plenary sessions, individual panels and the Hodan Nalayeh Changing Narratives Pitch Zone and Awards will be open for registration via the conference website. Each session will run for no more than 2 hours.  

Following the conference, papers will be selected for an academic publication.  

 Abstract submission instructions   

Please send a 250-word abstract with your name, e-mail address, a brief bio and affiliation to¬†[email protected]¬†by¬†Wednesday, 1 September 2021 (DEADLINE EXTENDED TO 15 September 2021). Innovative formats, panel proposals and (digital) roundtable discussions are also welcome. Panel or roundtable discussion proposals should include a short rationale and brief bios of participants.¬†¬†

Key Dates  

  • CFP submission deadline ‚Äst1 September 2021¬† (DEADLINE EXTENDED TO 15 September 2021)
  • Notification of¬†acceptance –¬†13 September 2021¬†
  • Registration opens ‚Äst30 September 2021¬†¬†
  • Conference dates ‚Äst2-3 November 2021¬†

4 Responses

  1. This is so great and I also want to apply
    In this period of covid-19 pandemic women in media are suffering a lot some have been raped I’m the course of their duties and they do not report.
    Other have been fired from work.

  2. Verry important and interesting. But we are francophone. So if you can send us documents in Franche-Comté, please

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C.E.O & Co-founder, AWiM

Dr Yemisi Akinbobola is an award-winning journalist, academic, consultant and co-founder of African Women in Media (AWiM). AWiM’s vision is that one-day African women will have equal access to representation in media. Joint winner of the CNN African Journalist Award 2016 (Sports Reporting), Yemisi ran her news website IQ4News between 2010-14.
Yemisi holds a PhD in Media and Cultural Studies from Birmingham City University, where she is a Senior Lecturer. She has published scholarly research on women‚Äôs rights, African feminism, and journalism and digital public spheres. She was Editorial Consultant for the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 commemorative book titled ‚ÄúShe Stands for Peace: 20 Years, 20 Journeys‚ÄĚ, and currently hosts the book‚Äôs podcast.
She speaks regularly on issues relating to gender and media. In 2021 she was recognized as one of 100 Most Influential African Women.