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Background to EACA
The East Africa Communication Association (EACA) was established in 2011 to serve
as a platform for media and communications experts, researchers, academics, policy
makers, regulators and media practitioners in Eastern Africa and beyond. The
association was established for the purpose of:
1. Building networks and harnessing synergies towards building capacity for
changing media environments in the region and Africa as a whole.
2. Enabling the dissemination of work through the annual conference and a peerreviewed
journal, the African Journal of Communication. The latter solicits
submissions throughout the year.
The work that emerges from the research and publication is deployed to improve the
field and industry. The research and presentations will be peer reviewed for
publication in the African Journal of Communication, with a wide reach.
Since its inception in 2011, EACA has held nine annual conferences in Kenya, Uganda,
Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.
The Faculty of Journalism, Media and Communication at UCU
The Uganda Christian University’s Faculty of Journalism, Media and Communication
(FJMC) is a leader in teaching journalism and communication skills for a variety of
contexts. The FJMC’s mission is to equip Christ-centred media professionals for a
dynamic society. We purpose to mould our students into relevant, purposeful,
empowered, independent and practical citizens. Our practical approach to learning
ensures that students develop multimedia skills for both journalism and
communication practice buttressed by a solid work ethic.
The 10TH Annual EACA Conference (Both virtual and physical)
The EACA 2021 Conference seeks to explore how media and communication actors
can re-imagine and redefine the future of journalism and communication through
critical conversation on media and communication industry and education in a context
variously impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The digital era brought nearly as much improvement to the media and
communication landscape as interference. This has in turn transformed journalism and
communication education and practice within a short period of time. Many of the
changes the journalism and communication industry are experiencing are driven by
globalisation and rapid technological advancement and have been particularly
punishing to traditional media, challenging the values of practice. Education
institutions have been equally affected as they have had to continuously re-engineer
themselves to meet the needs of the industry.
The disruption caused by digitisation was further compounded in 2020 with the
outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. The East African region was not spared some of
the most stringent measures put in place to slow the advance of the pandemic, some
as stringent as the closure of schools. Different institutions responded differently to
the challenges the closure of schools brought to education institutions, including
journalism and communication education. While some were able to transfer learning
online almost instantly, others are yet to catch up.
There is optimism with the emergence of Covid-19 vaccines, yet higher education has
been challenged and changed. In particular, journalism and communication education
and training has been affected by the inability to run some of the practical sessions,
lack of technology to support teaching and learning, access to stories and sources,
leading to rising concerns about the quality of journalism and communication
education in the region. Additionally, concerns about the viability of media whose
revenues have declined and who have struggled through the pandemic to pay their
staff and remain in production continues to rise. The situation has been exacerbated
by the rise of citizen journalism and fake news, which has impacted public trust in the
It is increasingly clear that neither the media/communication industry, nor media and
communication education institutions can survive without the other, and that more
than ever, synergies between these two sectors are key. All this calls for critical
reflection. What should the industry and academia do differently to remain viable and
The dialogue during the EACA conference August 27-29, 2021 will be centred around
the theme: Re-imagining the future of Media and Communication in a pandemic
Context. This theme will enable researchers and industry players to hold critical
conversations driven by the research and experience of actors in the industry. The
conference offers an opportunity for different actors to re-imagine and redefine the
viability of the media and communication industries and the role of education
institutions in this.
Objectives of the conference
The main objective of the EACA 2021 Conference is to explore the current challenges
and possible synergies that the media/communication industry and academia can
explore to increase the viability and relevance of both media/communication
education and practice, particularly at the crossroads moment that East Africa finds
Specifically, the conference will:
1. Examine the potential and actual impact of Covid-19 on media and
communication education and practice in the region.
2. Establish how training institutions in the region and the continent are
reinventing themselves to remain viable and relevant to the industry they serve.
3. Interrogate the capacity and preparedness of journalism schools in training for
a rapidly changing market.
4. Investigate possibilities, synergies and partnerships for the viability of media
and communication education and practice in a world challenged by Covid-19.
5. Assess new ethical challenges arising from the pandemic and post-pandemic
situation and possible mitigation measures from both industry and academia.
6. Examine the future of health communication post Covid-19 pandemic.
Call for abstracts
Abstracts are invited from researchers and practitioners in the following broad themes
or related areas:
1. The state of Journalism and communication education in East Africa.
2. The implications of Covid-19 for media and communication pedagogy and
3. The implications of Covid-19 pandemic for the media/communication industry,
practice and regulation.
4. Innovations in media and communication education and practice and their
viability for East Africa.
5. Civil-society/government/industry/academia partnerships, possibilities and
synergies for the viability of media and communication education and practice
in a world challenged by Covid-19.
6. New research areas in media and communication emerging from the Covid-19
7. Communicating Covid-19.
8. Infodemics and Covid-19.
9. Covid-19 implications for the viability of the media and communication
10. Regulation of media and communication in the Covid-19 era.
11. The role of the media/communication industries and media/communication
institutions in crisis communication in the context of Covid-19.
12. The role of the media/communication industries and media education
institutions in Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE).
13. East Africa’s coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Panels: Call for proposals
Proposals for panels on the conference theme are invited from all sectors of the field.
These will be evaluated competitively by anonymous referees. Panel proposals on the
conference theme must include a 500-word rationale explaining how the panel fits
within the conference. It should also provide names of up to four of the prospective
panellists, their contact details and institutional affiliation.
Guidelines for Submission
Prospective delegates and authors should submit abstracts of between 500-800
words to email@example.com
Please submit your abstracts as an attachment in Word format, 12 point, 1.5-line
spacing, clearly indicating the title of the paper, the author(s) and contact details
(institutional affiliation, email address and phone contacts). Also include a good
quality mugshot (passport photo) and short biography/biographies of the author(s).
Send your inquiries on the conference to the same addresses.