African Women in the Media

Birmingham, UK, 27. July 2017.

27TH JULY 2017
Birmingham City University, Curzon Building, 4 Cardigan Street, Birmingham, B4 7RJ

Engaging debates on issues affecting African women in the media

The symposium aims to bring together African women working in the media, and academics in the field of media and communications concerned with media, diaspora, race, gender, representation, and African feminism. The objectives are to engage in debates on issues affecting African women in the media, provide an opportunity for the exchange of ideas between academia and industry, and opportunities for networking.

With a focus on news media, the central questions the symposium will seek to answer are:

·      What challenges do African women working in the media face?
·      How are these challenges being addressed? How might they be?
·      How are African women represented in the media?

The long-term aim is to establish an action-orientated, supportive, and, empowering network that bridges academia and industry

Below is the full programme

1000-1030 Arrival & Registration

1030-1115 Keynote: Minna Salami

Minna Salami is a Nigerian, Finnish and Swedish writer, and the founder of the feminist blog, MsAfropolitan, through which she is frequently sought as a journalist, keynote speaker, gender specialist, lecturer and consultant. Her work advocates for global feminist awareness while critically exploring the relationship between gender, ethnicity, pop culture and social criticism from an Africa-centred perspective. Twitter: @MsAfropolitan

1115-1125 Break

1125-1210 Panel 1: Inclusion and diversity in British media organisations Several studies have demonstrated a lack of gender equality and diversity in the journalism industry in the UK. The IWMF’s Global Report of the Status of Women in News Media found that although female journalists made up 45% of the UK’s news media industry, “women face a glass ceiling that seems fixed at the junior professional level”. A 2016 report by City University London also found that only 0.2% of journalists in the UK are black.

This fishbowl discussion with African women who work in the British media will offer an insight into their lived experiences and challenges they face in their career.

1.     Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi, Centre for Human Rights in Practice, University of Warwick

2.     Yousra Elbagir, Freelance journalist (BBC Africa, CNN, Guardian, Huffington Post)

3.     Muna Ahmed, Freelance journalist (BBC, National Prison Radio)

4.     Kiri Kankhwende, Media Diversified

1210-1310 Lunch, networking, Pitch Zone with Dorothy Byrne, Head of News and Current Affairs, Channel 4

Dorothy Byrne, Head of News and Current Affairs at Channel 4, will be taking pitches for stories and ideas for Channel 4. If you would like to pitch an idea to Dorothy, click here to book your slot.

A team of producers from Nigeria’s TVC News will be accepting pitches. Click here to book your slot.

1310-1440 Panel 2: Voices of African women in diaspora and online media Panelists will discuss the role, and current practices, of diaspora and ethnic media in their representation and empowerment of African women. Panelists speaking on online media will look both at African feminism, representation and cultural exchange between the UK, USA, Nigeria and Ghana.

1.     Dr Olayinka Esan, Reader in Media and Film, University of Winchester: Defining Women’s Voices: Across Borders and Over the Years

2.     Dr Pauline Long, Founder of BEFFTA: Role of ethnic media in improving the representation of African women in the British media

3.     Krys Osei, PhD Candidate, University of London: Representation of African women in the web series An African City, across the triangular diasporic metropolitan routes of Accra, London and Washington D.C.

4.     Diretnan Bot, PhD Candidate, University of Leicester: Redistribution and cultural exchange in the blog discourses of Nigerian women

1440-1455 Break

1455-1630 Panel 3: African women in the media: A Trans-African outlook The final panel for the day will focus on issues around the representation of African women in media in African countries. Speakers will also discuss the experiences of African women working in the media in African countries.

1.     Prof. Florence Ayisi, Professor of international documentary, University of South Wales: ‘Can the African Woman Speak? Shifting the Cinematic gaze to affirm African Women’s Agency.’ (includes screening)

2.     Dr Motilola Akinfemisoye, University of Botswana: “We’re only assigned to cover ‘soft’ beats”: Perspectives of women working in the Botswana media

3.     Sally Osei-Appiah, PhD Candidate, University of Leeds: Representation of West African female politicians in the media

4.     Nancy Brian Mbaya, PhD Candidate, University of Chester: Representation of African women in conflict, a case study of Boko Haram

5.     Kodwo Boateng, Senior Lecturer and PhD Candidate, University of Jyvaskyla, Finland: Digging for Gender in Journalism studies: A Review of Publications on Women in the Journalism Profession in Africa

1630-1650 Business meeting and Networking

16.50-17.00 Closing remarks

Cost: £10 Early Bird (limited availability), £30 Standard ticket, Free for PhD students (limited availability). Includes refreshments and lunch.

Please contact Dr Yemisi Akinbobola at with any questions.

Click here to book:

African women working in the media anywhere in the world can join our Facebook group here:

This is a Women’s Network Event Funded by MeCCSA Women's Media Studies Network and Birmingham Centre for Media and Culture Research (BCMCR), Birmingham City University

Dr Yemisi Akinbobola
Distance learning doctoral programme coordinator
Award leader, Global Media Management

Birmingham School of Media
Birmingham City University
Parkside Campus
Cardigan Street
Birmingham B4 7BD

Publisher & Editor-in-Chief, IQ4News
Twitter: @yemisiogunleye and @IQ4News