Vuselela Media NPC director Mthoba Chapi attended Highway Africa 2014 on behalf of Vuselela. The annual gathering of journalists is the biggest on the African continent and held at Rhodes University in Grahamstown each year. The theme of this years Highway Africa conference was “Social Media: from the Margins to the Mainstream”. Mthoba shares some of the insights from the conference and how learning can be applied to Vuselela.
Highway Africa 14
Social Media has taken over control from the newsrooms. Journalists no longer own stories. The public no longer sits back to comment at schools, homes or bars. Social Media has made it possible for me and you to get our stories across and to give our opinions about stories that touch us the most. Highway Africa 2014 was themed around Social Media.
Vuselela-Media attended the 18th annual gathering that was hosted at Rhodes University in Grahamstown on 7-8 September. Media personnel from all over the world got to experience Africa’s version of social engagement through various media platforms.
Mobile media platforms are used the most in Africa for social media engagement. There were discussions on how you can reach traditional media if you are already not making your own content cheaper. Also on how traditional newsmakers can grow their reach and user engagement on mobile platforms, mainly cellphones.
The issue of high data costs in most African countries was challenged and various mobile data companies that were present heard the call from traditional media to reduce data costs so that it becomes easier for you to access and share information.
The companies that provide the data gave their side of the story stating that data charges have reduced over the past number of years. This has been proven by how cheaper cellphones with data capability have become.
The issue of possible free wifi was also presented with the City of Tshwane launching its free wifi for the city that has already lunched in parts of the city, presenting how this will help in promoting use of social media engagement. This would also put pressure on data companies to reduce their costs.
The benefits that would arise for you and Vuselela-Media on the issue of cheaper use of social media would greatly be on how easy it would be for you to send content to us that we can broadcast on our various television platforms. You will have your voice heard, and as time goes by, it will not cost you a cent.
In the mean time we continue using our social media platforms for greater development.