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WJEC syndicate group: Adapting journ education to the digital age

Guy Berger's picture

Here at WJEC - AMIC, a group of us brainstormed some of the issues, which I’ve distinguished and elaborated a little.

Here’s the wisdom: For the digital age, journalism education should take account of:

1. What j-teachers need to know – creating an influential statement about what digital competencies are needed from ALL faculty.

2. What students need to know and do from (digital) journalism education, including preparation for jobs that don’t even currently exist

3. Knowing what the media industry wants in graduates… and also what a j-school can tell them is needed (hence a need for R&D in a j-school).

4. Business model issues, including strategic thinking and entrepreneurial skills.

5. Theory issues – digital history, open source software, community theory, censorship, privacy, strategy, audience consumption and production, identity, Information Society and Knowledge Economy theories plus knowledge management, globalisation issues (ICANN, WSIS, development, democracy, digital divides, hyperlocalism).

5. Law and ethics - intellectual property (copyright and creative commons), defamation.

6. Research issues – audience measurement, eye-track, ethnographics, online tools and resources, changing news consumption habits, revenue issues.

7. Influencing governmental policy through faculty research and knowledge resources.

Pedagogy itself needs to take account of:
- Access to online resources and training opportunities
- Delivering education with the aid of online courses and tools
- Treating students as teachers
- Building creative learning and exercises

On this last one, student-created blogs is just one tool. Getting students to produce and then co-edit an article on a wiki is another. And how about requiring them to report on something and make a Google map of it? Or getting them to build specialised Yahoo Pipes that could be of use to beat reporters in a newsroom?

Last year, two Rhodes students trumped our entire teaching faculty by building their own online tips base for doing journalism. Way to go?