Call for Papers: African women in the media

A Women’s Network Event Funded by MeCCSA Women’s Media Studies Network and Birmingham Centre for Media and Culture Research, Birmingham City University

Proposals are invited for a one-day symposium at Birmingham City University, on Thursday 27th July 2017

The symposium aims to bring together academics in the field of media and communications concerned with media, diaspora, race, gender, and representation, with African women working in the media.

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.

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?

The symposium is timely in the rise of right-wing populist politics, particularly in relation to debates around the representation of race and immigration in the news.

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 (2011:13) 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.

Ethnic, diasporic and transnational media can and are helping to address issues around the alienation of ethnic groups in the mainstream media (Georgiou, 2004; Cottle, 2005; Cohen, 2008). However, the representation of women is still limited.

Therefore, we welcome scholarly papers, and practice contributions and screenings.

Perspectives may include, but are not limited to:

  • News, gender and power
  • Intersectionality
  • Diaspora
  • Representation
  • Race and ethnicity
  • African feminism
  • Gender politics and production practices
  • Equality and diversity in the news media
  • Identity
  • Transnational and ethnic media
  • Media Entrepreneurship
  • Fame

The long-term aim is to establish a permanent, action orientated, supportive, and, empowering network that bridges academia and industry. Click here to join our closed Facebook group, African women in the media.

Keynote speaker:

I am delighted to confirm Minna Salami as our Keynote Speaker. Minna Salami is the founder of MsAfropolitan, a journalist, writer and speaker on African, Diaspora and feminist issues.

Channel 4 taking pitches:

Head of News and Current Affairs, Dorothy Byrne will be attending the symposium to take pitches for programme and news story ideas.

Confirmed industry panelists:

  • Muna Ahmed: BBC, and National Prison Radio
  • Yousra Elbagir: Freelance journalist (BBC Africa, CNN, Guardian, Huffington Post)
  • Kiri Kankhwende: Media Diversified
  • Dr Pauline Long: BEFFTA founder
  • Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi: Centre for Human Rights in Practice, University of Warwick

PhD Bursaries:

We will be offering a small number of travel bursaries for PhD students (up to a maximum of £50). If you would like to be considered for the bursary, please let us know.

Please send abstracts of 150 words including a short bio by Wednesday 31 May 2017 to:

Dr Yemisi Akinbobola (yemisi.akinbobola[at]