WIMPS at South Africa’s Media Conference for Youth
A short report written for a different blog.
The coach’s engine was overheating. Outside the sun was beating down – it was 35 degrees. Inside, the coach air conditioning was on full pelt to keep us cool. And we were singing Jingle Bells. “Dashing through the snow?” Hardly. Welcome to mid-December on the Western Cape.
The 100 young people from Bush Radio’s Media Kidocracy Konference are on their field trip. WIMPS Coach Karen Devlin and I – with about 20 other people attending MKK – are on the on our way to one of South Africa’s biggest newspaper publishers Media 24. Then on to Paarl to see one of the smallest radio stations Radio KC 107.7FM.
This is the 12th Media Kidocracy Konference that Cape Town’s community radio station Bush Radio has organised. Around 100 young people from South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique and other countries in the region are attending the media camp. Northern Ireland (where Karen and I are from) is probably the furthest away from Worcester where the camp is being held.
Over the week from 9 December we heard from speakers addressing issues around democracy, elections, self expression, rights, civic participation and economic freedom for young people.
There is practical work too. I’m there to run a Blogging workshop (see our work here http://mkksa12.wordpress.com/). The groups are broken into teams working on Cartoons, Photography, Radio, Television, Graffiti and Print.
The youth are here to have fun – there’s no point if there is no fun – but also to introduce “historically disadvantaged communities not adequately served by the media to gain access to the media. It’s beneficiaries will be community media and small commercial media” in the words of the Media Development and Diversity Agency, one of the sponsors.
You can get a sense of the fun and activity in Karen’s report. https://vimeo.com/56155161