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International delegates attend SACOMM conference at UFS
2016-10-12

Description: SACOMM conference  Tags: SACOMM conference

From the left: Prof Colin Chasi, Chairperson of the
South African Communications Association,
Dr Dalme Mulder UFS Lecturer; Dr Wilmien Marais,
UFS Lecturer; Prof Johann de Wet, former head of
UFS Department of Communication Science
Prof Tom O’Regan, University of Queensland (Australia)
and Prof Milli Rivera, Head of the UFS Department of
Communication Science during the conference on the
UFS Bloemfontein Campus.
Photo: Rulanzen Martin

Communication from within and below: Social Transformation and Inclusiveness. That was the theme of the 2016 South African Communication Association (SACOMM) conference, hosted at the Bloemfontein Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS) from 3 to 5 October 2016.

“Through this theme, participants were invited to submit papers that examined the role of communication in today’s tumultuous climate,” said Prof Mili Rivera, Head of the Department of Communication Science at the UFS.

A total of 140 delegates from other South African universities, as well as international delegates from Zimbabwe, Nigeria, the United Kingdom, United States, and Australia attended the conference. It was the second time in ten years that the UFS hosted the conference.

Organisation to mentor and support emerging scholars
Various staff members and students from the UFS Department of Communication Science presented papers during the three days.

Annette van Baalen and Dr Dalme Mulder, both lecturers in the department, won the best paper award in the Corporate Communication division. A number of emerging scholars also presented papers. “The organisation is committed to mentoring and supporting emerging scholars in the field of Communication Science,” said Prof Rivera.

Association must be agent of change in curriculum
Delegates discussed the role of the organisation (SACOMM) as an agent of change in terms of decolonising the curriculum. The focus was on training journalists to cover crises in a fair and balanced manner. The book The Art of Persuasive Communication - A Process (4th Edition) by Prof Johann de Wet, former head of the UFS Department of Communication Science, was also launched during the conference.

The next SACOMM conference will take place at Rhodes University in 2017.

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