After lots of slog, a study of media law in ten African countries has seen the light of online day.
It's been a project of the Rhodes School of Journalism and Media Studies, under commission from UNESCO. It was launched during the Highway Africa conference in hard copy, and 200 have been sent out to African journalism schools so far.
Rhodes University has been identified by Unesco as one of the top journalism schools in Africa. The Unesco report [PDF] identifies 12 of the 96 African journalism schools assessed as potential Centres of Excellence and nine as potential Centres of Reference. Others in South Africa identified as recommended potential centres of excellence in journalism education for Unesco are the University of Stellenbosch, Walter Sisulu University and Tshwane University of Technology.
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.
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).
This refers to my research articles on the subject
Towards defining “potential centres of excellence” in African journalism training. Paper submitted to World Journalism Educators Congress, Singapore, July 2007.