Quick - what are the top most important topics for journalism education to be teaching today?
If you're South African, you might want to say - in the light of recent belligerent comments from those in power - it is this: "How to make a case for media freedom and self-regulation." You wouldn't be wrong.
The Graduate School of Journalism at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, has a new media lab - but like most schools in Canada, this doesn't mean a separate specialist stream for students: they learning writing, audio, photography and video for all platforms.
Ever wondered what organised networks of j-schools can do? I once tried to launch two South African associations (of print teachers, and broadcast teachers) – without success.
The HRC hearings into protests by Primedia journalists against the racially-exclusive meeting of the Forum of Black Journalists have been reported as "no-holds-barred debate".
Sowetan recently ran a reader poll on Darfur, eliciting 4800 responses. Of these, 4200 were submitted online. The paper’s site, meanwhile, is ratcheting up two million hits a month.
This information was volunteered by editor, Thabo Leshilo, during a discussion about digital media at a council meeting of the SA National Editors Forum.
The point being that even a publication that could be thought to have a largely off-line audience in fact attracts substantial online participation.
That’s a lesson to hold on to, I thought recently. It was at a council meeting of the SA National Editors’ Forum, and I had been beating the drum about the organisation needing to produce perfect press releases and publications.
My beef was in regard to a press statement whose poor wording lent itself to be reported in some media
(a) that Sanef welcomed the news that the Sunday Times editor could face arrest,
and in other media,
(b) that Sanef was outraged by the news.