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WMEMC Robert-picard

Welcome Note to Delegates


I am looking forward to welcoming you all to the World Media Economics and Management Conference in Cape Town, South Africa, in May 2018.
One of the most vibrant and scenic cities in the world, Cape Town and the surrounding regions have much to offer us both during and after the conference. Cape Town sits uniquely between the Indian and Atlantic oceans, overlooked by the fabled Table Mountain.
The city has magnificent and historic tourism sites such as Robben Island, where former South African president Nelson Mandela spent time during his nearly 30 years of imprisonment by the last white government of South Africa, the imposing Cape Town Harbour and a vibrant nightlife.
Before or after the conference, you will want to spend some time sightseeing. Cape Town also boasts the historic Cape of Good Hope, the southernmost tip of Africa. From Cape Town, you can also visit the nearby Winelands, take a safari, go shark cage diving, or reach beach resorts that will pamper you.
We are planning a diverse and stimulating programme, including panels of African media leaders providing their perspectives on contemporary media issues, and presentations from leading media economic and media management researchers and scholars from across the world.
Our good friends at the Sol Plaatje Institute for Media Leadership at the School of Journalism and Media Studies at Rhodes University are hosting this conference and will be introducing us to the food, culture, and history of Cape Town.
We all look forward to seeing you there.


Robert G. Picard
Chair, World Media Economics and Management Conference

World Media Economics and Management Conference


The World Media Economics and Management Conference is a biennial meeting that brings together leading scholars from around the world to reflect on contemporary issues in the economics and management of media industries and firms.
Established in 1994, the conference has previously met in Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, Finland, Canada, China, Colombia, Greece, Brazil, and New York in the United Stated of America.
The 13th edition of the conference is taking place for the first time in Africa. It is being staged in Cape Town, South Africa, from 6-9 May 2018.
Hosted by Rhodes University’s Sol Plaatje Institute for Media Leadership, the conference will provide attendees the opportunity to exchange ideas, present their original research, and strengthen connections with peers and experts in media business and media management.
Conference President:
Robert G. Picard
Conference Board:
Chair: Robert G. Picard, University of Oxford Vice Chair: Gregory F. Lowe, University of Tampere
Secretary: Axel Roepnack, Fordham University
Immediate Past conference organizer: Bozena Mierzejewska, Fordham University
2018 Conference Organizer: Francis Mdlongwa, Rhodes University
Rhodes University’s Conference Organizing Committee:


Anthea Garman; Harry Dugmore; Lynette Steenveld; Chris Kabwato; Vanessa Malila; Noel Pearse; Ryan Hancocks; and Francis Mdlongwa.

Sol Plaatje Institute for Media Leadership


Rhodes University’s Sol Plaatje Institute (SPI) for Media Leadership was established in late 2002 to offer a range of high-level media management and leadership courses and training programmes to both practising and aspirant media workers from across Africa.
The first university level institution in Africa and the developing world to enter the field of media management, the SPI also offers the only formal postgraduate qualification in media management in Africa.
So far, nearly 3,000 media leaders from the Africa have attended the SPI’s accredited and certificated short courses. The attendees have been drawn from the broadcast, print and converged media sectors. Most of these leaders today occupy senior leadership and management positions in their media organizations.
The Institute has also graduated more than 200 media management scholars from Africa – in one instance the Institute had a student from France — since 2004 when this postgraduate programme was launched.
These graduates include a South African who held a senior management position within Facebook’s Content Management Hub in London for seven years until two years ago; one graduate who is running a multi-platform media firm in Ghana; one graduate who is the director of Information and broadcasting in Lesotho; one graduate who has launched a successful ‘free’ newspaper in Zimbabwe; one graduate who is the director of business development at Malawi’s Television, among others.
For more details on the Institute’s programmes and courses, please visit the SPI’s website at www.ru.ac.za/spi/
The SPI is an associate institute of Rhodes University’s School of Journalism and Media Studies, which is widely regarded in the world for educating and training “self-reflexive, critical, analytical graduates and media workers whose practice is probing, imaginative, civic minded and outspoken” (please visit http://www.ru.ac.za/jms/about/) for more details.