World leaders and researchers of media management and media business will meet at the Lagoon Beach Hotel in Cape Town for a four-day summit this month.
Co-hosted by Rhodes University’s Sol Plaatje Institute for Media Leadership, the World Media Economics and Management Conference (WMEMC) will see 250 delegates taking a critical look at threats and opportunities facing Africa and the rest of the world’s media industry as of Sunday 06 May 2018.
The first ever summit of its kind on the African continent, the WMEMC aims to review the promises and perils of media convergence on media firms and seek solutions that strengthen an industry that is facing hyper-competition from the ‘platform economy’ of technological giants such as Google, Facebook, Apple and Twitter.
According to Francis Mdlongwa, Conference Director and head of Rhodes University’s Sol Plaatje Institute, the 13th edition of this landmark event will seek to make sense of the activities of the platform economy giants and how they interact with the media industry through the theme of “Media Management in the Age of Tech Giants: Collaboration or Co-opetition?”.
Co-opetition is a concept where business rivals simultaneously compete and collaborate on specific areas of business as part of a strategy to gain a competitive advantage against others.
“In a world increasingly sapped by ‘news noise’ and information, the key question for media and journalism is whether they now need to collaborate or be “co-opted” into the emerging media ecosystem that is led by digital media platforms,” Mdlongwa added.
The delegates are drawn from North America, Latin America, the Arctic, Europe, Asia, the Far East, the Middle East and Africa and comprise of world-leading professors and researchers, scholars, journalists and media-linked non-governmental organisations.
Patricia de Lille, Mayor of Cape Town, will officially open the summit, where more than 100 research papers are due to be presented.
“We hope that #WMEMC 2018 will help media managers and journalists of Africa in particular to see how their problems and opportunities are both local and global, as well as explore how their own media management and journalism schools need to reposition themselves in a rapidly changing and discontinuous media-scape,” Mdlongwa said. “With most legacy media firms across the world still struggling to embrace digital and social media in terms of ‘monetising’ their new audiences, the conference couldn’t have come at a more opportune time because both the media and journalism are at crossroad, a turning point in history, to redefine themselves, their roles and utility in a more transparent and information-overloaded world.”