Local journos attend Business of Truth media conference in Johannesburg

GABORONE, BOTSWANA; Botswana Unplugged and a few other local journalists will today (Wednesday) until Saturday join their counterparts from Africa and Europe and undergo a digital media and journalism-oriented conference dubbed “Business of Truth” moderated by renowned media experts from around the world in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Moderators will include Jane Kasumba, Chief Operations Officer, Smart 24 TV; Cherie Blair Foundation for Women Mentor (Uganda), Alan Soon, Co-founder & CEO, Splice Newsroom (Singapore), David Tvrdon, Product Manager for Online News, Podcast Producer, SME.sk, (Slovakia) and Amy Brittain, Investigative Reporter, The Washington Post (USA).

Botswana will be well represented by six local journalists among them Mompati Tlhankane and Innocent Selatlhwa both at Mmegi newspaper, Ontametse Sugar of The Patriot on Sunday, Thomas Oemelenna of Global Post, Jennifer Letshwiti of The Voice newspaper and Botswana Unplugged’s Moagi Madisa including Joel Konopo who is also one of the moderators. Konopo is currently spending a year at Stanford as a John S. Knight Fellow exploring ways in which journalists and computer scientists can work together to create a system that marries strong technology with journalistic prowess.

The conference is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Office of Citizen Exchanges, implemented by World Learning, and coordinated by the Digital Communication Network. The forum will focus on current trends and the latest developments in investigative journalism and the way digital information technologies are reshaping journalism, communication and society behavior, in Africa and around the world.

Furthermore, it is an international association connecting professionals of the digital age from a variety of backgrounds, in order to generate ideas, tools, and products for media outlets, civil society organizations, businesses, and public authorities.

The first day, Business of Truth will pin discussions on the standards, Values, Practices will focus on challenges and opportunities for investigative reporters, in Africa and globally. Journalists and other professionals will discuss their media landscapes and how technology and international cooperation can contribute to impactful investigations. Topics such as Data and Investigative Journalism, Multimedia Storytelling, Fact Checking, Effective Searches, Data Visualization, Cross Border Collaboration and Combating Corruption will be covered in parallel workshops and a closing plenary session.

Furthermore, and on the second day, Business of Truth will further deliverables on digital Impact, focusing on the future of journalism and communication and the importance of cross-learning and cooperation between journalists and other digital influencers, such as communication companies, NGOs and social movements, digital experts within governments, political communicators and entrepreneurs. Participants will explore issues such as the overall landscape of new media, impact of the Internet and social media on journalism, creating compelling content for new media platforms, branding, creative financial approaches and business models, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Excited to be joining their fellows in media, Botswana journalists reacted differently prior to their departure to Johannesburg at Sir Seretse Khama International Airport (SSKIA) this morning…

“I am looking forward to this trip considering how rich and diverse the participants are and that will definitely afford each and every person out there the ability to learn and network with each other from all over. It will be amazing to have all these conversations with people from developed and developing countries as well about their media trends. From the topics that are going to be discussed, someone has the ability to come back as an all-round journalist, from learning about the various digital media tools, being digital influencers, how to monetize the profession, how to use technology and many others,” said Sugar.

“Obviously Botswana Unplugged as a leading online blog in Botswana will jump into any opportunity that arises on the trends of digital media and journalism. Africa as a whole is rapidly moving towards digital migration and to have moderators from renowned media houses in Europe will gauge our journey and also help us learn steadily on how best to improve our craft,” said Madisa.

“Newsroom routine can be hectic especially for journalists who have been doing the same work over and again for years. So it is necessary for employers to take employees for refresher courses as a way to broaden the thinking scope of reporters. The world is changing especially now that the digital culture has taken over, so equipping journalists with additional training is an investment especially for a media house that intends to survive in this era of social media where citizen journalists want to be ahead all the time,” said Tlhankane

Tlhankane with Minister of Trade, Bogolo Kanewendo

“I am so excited to be part of this forum. It is important to stay up to date on current media trends and latest developments in investigative journalism. There has been debate about undercover journalism which renowned undercover journalist Anas Anas will present on. It will be interesting to find out what journalists from around the world think of the approach. I am also interested in learning how we can keep journalism relevant and authentic in an era where everybody is a journalist on social media,” said Selathwa.


“I think the forum is going to be of valuable use for anyone who wants to be more knowledgeable about how the industry is developing. I think the agenda is quite knit, striking the right balance between speakers tackling market issues as well as bringing global trends and insight. The whole mix of the programs will give us interesting perspective on what to expect in the market or industry in years to come,” said Oemelenna.


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Moagi Madisa

"Although journalism is the activity of gathering, assessing, creating, and presenting news and information and also the product of these activities; for me its science - our sorroundings"

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About BotswanaUnplugged

BOTSWANAUNPLUGGED is an exclusive online news and lifestyle magazine created for upwardly mobile citizens with distinguished tastes. Based in Gaborone, Botswana; UNPLUGGED is a quintessential online news and lifestyle medium (platform) which strives to speak to the soul of the country’s upscale lifestyle by setting its sights on the passion that permeates our region.

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