My sense here in Grahamstown is that the old Media is
attempting to capture the Highway Africa conference.
They've attempted to cover all the media exits --
There is a print newspaper every morning covering the
previous day's events. There's a big-screen television in
the foyer just outside our main lecture hall. There's even
something called SMS messaging -- oh my, I don't even
know what that is...
They're apparently offering both a WAP and an old
fashioned version of proceedings via the Internet. Since
I've never owned a cell phone, I'm afraid I can't WAP.
SABC television and radio are covering events. They
presented an awards ceremony live to the continent via
DSTV last night -- live modern dancing, a popular South
African singer, a gala dinner (smoked salmon,
champagne sorbet, noisettes of lamb, lemon meringue)
sponsored by SABC.
A few unreported stories:
The conference newspaper reports Dr. Tawana Kupe of
the Journalism and Media Studies Department as saying
yesterday that there is a rich and poor digital divide within
countries, which is in addition to the divide often talked
about between North and South.
But he also talked about how the Internet is redefining our
identities and reformulating the family. He is now t dot
kupe at ru dot ac dot za, with many new brothers and
sisters in Grahamstown sharing his new surname. Those
in these new families have privilege. All the rest...
I can testify that that the meeting hall this Tuesday
morning was almost empty at starting time -- probably a
bit too much fine South African wine at last night's gala
Today's topic was "Universal Access to New Media."
Most seemed in agreement that poverty is the central
problem, and that market forces left to their own devices
will assure that the poor remain without access. What to
do about that remains a matter of some consternation.
Three days to go...
Jeff @ Grahamstown, Rhodes University
Information and Communication Technology Programs
Tel +254 (2) 862400 x2762
Email [log in to unmask] (preferred)
Email [log in to unmask]
PO Box 30261