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Media innovators gather in Cape Town for Bloomberg conference

Nov 15, 2023

Journalists, media and business professionals, and government leaders recently gathered in South Africa for the 2023 Bloomberg Africa Business Media Innovators Forum, where they discussed the global state of the media and its interplay with democracy, new technology, and economic futures. They were joined by colleagues from the Athens-based journalism nonprofit iMEdD (incubator for Media Education and Development).

The conference was held as part of the broader Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa, through which the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) supports a Financial Journalism Training program that has reached 800 participants from 16 countries and recently expanded into Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal with French-language programming.

Panel discussions and talks covered topics from the risks and opportunities generative AI offers journalism, to fostering more authentic portrayals of Africans in the media, to the relationship between media funding models and democracy, to how to cover the climate crisis. A wide variety of voices, from comedians and playwrights to the mayor of Cape Town and a cofounder of Bloomberg News, shared their perspectives. One panel on media and democracy included Nobel laureate and Rappler CEO Maria Ressa and former South African Constitutional Court Justice Albie Sachs, both of whom were honored last year with SNF-supported Clooney Foundation Albie Awards.

The conference, which drew 90 participants from around a dozen countries, included an event at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, where SNF supports a mobile museum project.

In her closing remarks, Erana Stennett, Director of Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa, mentioned iMEdD and encouraged attendees to learn more about the organization’s mission and work.