Press Release Summary: The second edition of the International Media Forum South Africa (IMFSA) was held at the Campus in Bryanston, Johannesburg, 21 - 22 May 2008. IMFSA, a gathering of some of the world\'s top editors teaming up with African media managers and communicators.
Press Release Body: Firstly I have to say it was a hugely worthwhile two days - and two days out of the office as we all know is a lot to give up. But this was more than worth it, just to listen to the incredible line up of speakers from almost every major news organisation relevant to our continent. As a journalist and media trainer I certainly came away enriched and renewed in my vigour to empower people with a better understanding of how media works.
The speakers were almost without exception experienced in presenting with powerful video clips and useful powerpoint presentations - no death from powerpoint here. But it always saddens me when I see a government minister, or any 'important person' deliver a speech where they stand and read, almost totally without taking their eyes off the paper and looking at their audience. And more importantly without any passion!
At this conference this applied particularly to Essop Pahad, who almost seemed bored reading in his monotone voice, for what appeared to be for the first time - (not even a rehearsal) his typical rhetorical speech. And then just when an audience full of media, international and local, could have got something out of his appearance by being able to ask questions, he was whisked away! At least the next day the more affable Kgalema Motlanthe, although he again read his speech, did stay and was prepared to actually give answers to sometimes tricky questions. We are of course, unlike most foreign press, extremely polite journalists and it was only afterwards I realised that no one actually asked him where was Thabo Mbeki or Jacob Zuma and why hadn't they appeared on television or radio, or even better at one of the places where this terrible xenophobia was taking place?
What also must be acknowledged about this conference was the wonderful job done by the chairperson of the event - master of news John Perlman and one can only say what a colossal loss he was for the SABC. He filled in any gaps, challenging the guest speakers and asking many of the questions that needed to be asked.
What must be said however is the dismal turnout - due to the just under R10 000 ticket price. Journalists in South Africa certainly can't afford these prices and I was there because I was generously given a ticket by one of the sponsoring companies. I would like to appeal to the organisers to please next year, reconsider your ticket prices. With almost two thirds of the room empty wouldn't it have been better to have halved the price of the tickets and had a full house?
Marion Scher Media Mentors www.mediamentors.co.za email@example.com
Web Site: http://www.mediamentors.co.za
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