Question: Can you spot the differences below?
Answer: Only the dates and authors are different.
The excerpts come from a popular journalism textbook, Global Journalism.
They are drawn from the 3rd edition in 1995 edited by John Merrill, and compared with the 4th , edited by Merrill and Arnold de Beer.
The exercise exposes how the book has regurgitated research by one set of authors, and credited it to different authors, without update or acknowledgment of the original source.
Journalism was regarded as subversive under pre-democratic Malawi, so the Polytechnic of Malawi could only offer a one-year qualification in “communication studies” for many years.
Only since 1999, says Grey Mang’anda (below), the head of what is now called the Department of Journalism and Media Studies, it has been possible to run a four year qualification that is explicitly in journalism.
How to integrate different knowledges in the teaching of journalism has bedevilled decades of curriculum development. So, no surprise that integration is an issue currently consuming discussions around the programme for fourth year Journalism and Media Studies students at Rhodes.
Teachers on the course agree that journalism is not pure operational technique (of course no technique exists outside of ideology, history, ethics, representation, etc). Knowing “how to” is indeed a necessary element of doing journalism as a practice, but it is certainly not sufficient.
Three years after its publication, Barbie Zelizer’s book “Taking Journalism Seriously” belatedly came onto my reading list this week. The publication’s subtitle is “News and the Academy”, which much better reflects what the book is actually about – it’s a “serious” analysis not of journalism as such, but of (Western) scholarship about (Western) journalism.
At the end, it’s clear from the book that the large amount of research into journalism shows that some academics certainly do take the topic seriously.
Tanzania got hammered in my last post, about planning to register journalists. But lots of other African countries already do it, or have plans as well. Nigeria for instance uses the language of "fill out the prescribed forms". I wrote about this in my Converse column this week, setting out some of the arguments as to why the practice is abhorrent. Thank goodness the Inter-American Court of Justice long ago - in 1985 in fact - gave a definitive thumbs-down to registration: