Department of Communication Studies Holds Maiden Conference on Trends in Media and Communication

Head of Department, Dr. Abena Animwaa Yeboah-Banin

The Department of Communication Studies, School of Information and Communication, College of Education, has held its maiden edition of Trends in Media and Communication Conference on October 19, 2021. The theme of the virtual conference was, ‘Africa’s digital youth: Exploring the media and information literacy competencies and practices’.

In her opening remarks, the Head of Department, Dr. Abena Animwaa Yeboah-Banin, indicated that the Department looks forward to providing the platform for African communication and media scholars and practitioners to share discoveries and ideas relating to the evolving trends in the communications and media space. She announced the decision to hold the conference biannually.

Dr. Yeboah-Banin said the only way to reduce the vulnerabilities of the African youth when they are online is to equip them with digital media and information literacy. She called on other institutions to take similar interest to make African youth more media and information literate.

The Acting Provost, College of Education, Prof. Martin Oteng-Ababio, conveyed well wishes from the Acting Vice-Chancellor and expressed his excitement about the thematic focus of the conference. He noted how the advancement in digital technology has made it difficult to differentiate between authentic and false information. He was optimistic that the conference will propose workable solutions to media and information literacy challenges. Prof. Oteng-Ababio also commended the Department of Communication Studies for initiating the conference and thanked the sponsors for the kind gesture.

Acting Provost, College of Education, Prof. Martin Oteng-Ababio

Madam Julliet Amoah, Executive Director, Penplusbytes, in her remarks stressed the importance of academics researching on the effective strategies international media literacies use in other cultures to serve as a guide to the Ghanaian context. She also advised practitioners to recognise the implication of their publications so that they can safeguard the trust of the public by sharing credible content.

Taking her turn, Prof. Janet Kwami, Professor, Furman University and Keynote Speaker for the Conference, emphasised that the numerous opportunities available to communications academics and professionals require them to be innovative and attentive to global warning on digital culture. She challenged African leaders to regulate and rid the digital space of threats such as foreign interference, privacy concerns and insolent speech. Prof. Kwami, who is an alumna of the Department of Communication Studies lauded the efforts of the Department for taking scholarly interest in building digital literacy and competence by ensuring humane and ethical technology use.

Prof. Janet Kwami

There were plenary sessions during the conference on digital media use and trends, media and information literacy competence and knowledge, youth and social media activism and digital media access.