The alliance of journalism education groups which arranged the WJEC that is being hosted by AMIC has adopted a “Declaration of Principles of Journalism Education”. It’s quite thought-provoking, but there’s BIG red-flag term in it:
What really matters in assessing the quality of a j-school?
Pascal Guenee, a prof from Paris, gives this example: “An accreditation body might say that if you have 120 computers for 150 students, that’s satisfactory. But my students would say that’s not enough.”
In short, it depends on whose point of view you take. For students, the excellence of a j-school might not coincide 100% with what others say. For university administrators putting a premium on traditional research, excellence is something else.
And, of course, the media industry, will have its own perspective.
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
Launched today at the World Journalism Education Congress (WJEC) and Asia Media Information and Communication Centre (AMIC), a UNESCO booklet on Model Curricula for Journalism Education for Developing Countries & Emerging Democracies.
It’s the result of workshops (I took part in one), and research into syllabus development (for which my colleague Robert Brand did the media law section).
AMIC session on 25 June on East and West perspectives on freedom, responsibility and regulation:
Javed Jabbar, Pakistan media activist, provocatively said that “responsibility” should be seen as conceptually prior to “freedom of expression”.
The reason? Because “responsibility” entails fairness, truth, accuracy, balance – and respect for others. This is not necessarily the case with freedom of expression.
He hastened to say that “responsibility” should not be used to restrict free speech, but to make it more humane. It was foundational.