Jul. 23 (GIN) – Under the theme, “Speaking Truth to Power? Media, Politics and Accountability”, a major media conference will bring together journalists, civil society activists and academics to discuss African media’s role in holding political authority accountable.

The conference takes place at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa, where it is hosted by Rhodes’ School of Journalism and Media Studies in partnership with South Africa’s Dept. of Communications and other agencies and corporations. The two day confab kicks off Sept. 1 with a combination of plenary sessions, keynote addresses, debates, training workshops, networking dinners and book launches.

Key voices in the African media Industry will speak to the theme and give insights as to how the media can effectively use its role as a discourse shaper, to speak to power in addition to speaking of it.

Highway Africa, organizers of the annual affair, wrote on their website: “Over the past year the power of the media has been demonstrated in various situations from the Arab Spring to the phone-hacking scandal involving Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World newspaper.

“In response to this power of the media, governments have sought to question the legitimacy and limits of the power of the media… These developments have triggered fierce debate on the role and limits of the media.”

On the Highway Africa Facebook page, one posting asked: “How are the people formerly called ‘the audience’ using social media to question both the media and the state?”

Previous themes of the conference were: “Africa Rising or China Emerging?”, Citizen Journalism; and Gender – Where are the Women’s voices? w/pix of Sungeni Chithambo, a Highway Africa attendee