Global Education

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GLOBAL JOURNALISM EDUCATION A conceptual approach Mark Deuze Journalism is a more or less autonomous field of study across the globe, yet the education and training of journalists is a subject much debated */but only rarely researched. This paper maps some of the salient issues when studying the structure and culture of a journalism education program to identify the key debates facing programs around the world when structuring, rethinking, and building institutions, schools, or departments of j
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  GLOBAL JOURNALISM EDUCATIONA conceptual approach Mark Deuze  Journalism is a more or less autonomous field of study across the globe, yet the education and training of journalists is a subject much debated   *   /  but only rarely researched. This paper mapssome of the salient issues when studying the structure and culture of a journalism education program to identify the key debates facing programs around the world when structuring,rethinking, and building institutions, schools, or departments of journalism where a combinationof practical and contextual training is the prime focus. As a point of departure it is assumed that although media systems and journalistic cultures may differ widely, the changes and challengesfacing journalism education around the world are largely similar, and thus would benefit from a‘‘global’’ approach. The key literature and findings from journalism education studies in different  parts of the world is thus conceptually synthesized into 10 categories, starting with philosophical notions of motivation and mission, ending with more ‘‘down-to-earth’’ concepts like curriculumand pedagogy. Each category is discussed in terms of the challenges, debates and tensions aseducators and trainers in different parts of the world have signaled these. KEYWORDS international journalism; journalism education; journalism studies; journalismtheory; journalism training Introduction Journalism is a more or less autonomous field of study across the globe, asexemplified by the (sometimes recent) appearance of dedicated scholarly national andinternational journals, annual international scientific conferences with dedicated panels,sessions and interest groups, and the emergence of a respectable body of theoretical andempirical literature particular to the field (Berkowitz, 1997; Lo¨ffelholz, 2004; Merrill, 2000;Shoemaker and Reese, 1996; Tumber, 1999; Zelizer, 2004). Yet while this rather self-congratulatory conclusion may be true, one cannot help but notice that the education andtraining of journalists is a subject much debated  *  / but only rarely researched. Scholarsfrom different parts of the world lament this, calling for studies on schools of journalism,on the determinants of journalism education, on the distinctions and similarities betweenindustry training and professional education, and on the relationships between education,profession and society (Altmeppen and Ho¨mberg, 2002; Cottle, 2000; Morgan, 2003; Reeseand Cohen, 2000). This is not to say that there is little or no journalism education literature;on the contrary, academic bookshelves and peer-reviewed journals feature the work of numerous writers on the subject. The problem with this body of literature according toBecker (2003) is that it tends to be either too normative, or that it remains overtlydescriptive. Indeed, most of the journalism education literature tends to be very specific  *  / featuring case studies of what works or does not work in a particular curriculum, course orclassroom  *  / or wildly generic  *  / where often senior scholars offer more or less historicizedaccounts of their lifelong experiences in ‘‘doing’’ journalism education. Regarding industry  Journalism Studies, Vol. 7, No 1, 2006 ISSN 1461-670X print/1469-9699 online/06/010019-16 – 2006 Taylor & Francis DOI: 10.1080/14616700500450293  training, the literature does not offer many answers; overviews of education and traininginitiatives in particular countries tend just to mention or list these kinds of trainingprograms initiated and paid for by news media organizations themselves (see e.g. Bierhoff et al., 2000). Such conclusions are too easy, though. Especially in recent years, severalefforts have been made to professionalize the scholarship of journalism education (Reeseand Cohen, 2000). Scholars in different parts of the world, such as Morgan (2000)Morgan(2003) in Australia, Weischenberg (2001) in Germany, Herbert (2000) in the UnitedKingdom, de Beer (1995) in South Africa, and Dickson (2000) in the United States publishedworks to this effect. If anything, these publications suggest that although media systemsand journalistic cultures may differ widely, the changes and challenges facing journalismeducation around the world are largely similar, and thus would benefit from a ‘‘global’’approach (see also Gaunt, 1992). Global in the context of this essay means the lateral linksone can identify across (real and perceived) national and cultural boundaries, which getparticular meanings in situated contexts. In this paper, I therefore intend to conceptuallysynthesize some of the key literature and findings from journalism education studies indifferent parts of the world as these sheds light on common challenges and initiatives.Regarding the feasibility of a global approach to conceptualizing journalismeducation, I follow the conclusions of previous cross-national work in the field such asoffered by Gaunt (1992), Bierhoff and Schmidt (1997), and by Fro¨hlich and Holtz-Bacha(2003), all of whom signal an ever-increasing international formalization and standardiza-tion as a fundamental feature of developments in journalism education worldwide  *  / if notparticularly in the Western world. Indeed, Fro¨hlich and Holtz-Bacha (2003, pp. 317  Á  / 8)suggest an emerging consensus on homogeneous standards as a key trend in theircomparison of journalism education in Europe and the United States. Specific examples of international collaborative projects in assessing the wants and needs of a changing journalism training and education environment are: . In Europe: the various publications and programs on journalism training of the EuropeanJournalism Centre in Maastricht, The Netherlands (see Bierhoff and Schmidt, 1997;Bierhoff et al., 2000), coupled with emerging undergraduate and graduate internationalcollaborative programs in ‘‘Eurojournalism’’ by schools and universities in Wales,Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands. . In Africa: audits, reports and programs by the Southern Africa Media Training Trust andthe Media Institute of Southern Africa, as well as overviews offered by mediaprofessionals in the field (Lowe Morna and Khan, 2001; Ogundimu, 1990). . In the Asia-Pacific region: various collaborations of schools, media institutions anduniversities in the region including partners in Europe and the United States (scholarlysummarized and analyzed by Loo and Lau, 2000; for Australia, see in particular Putnis andAxford, 2002). . In South America: research and training programs for the entire region initiated by theCiespal Institute in Quito, Ecuador. . Worldwide: the UNESCO initiative Journet, a self-proclaimed global network forprofessional education in journalism and the media. What becomes clear when considering these various projects and programs is anamazing similarity of problems identified as topics of structural debate in most, if not allareas around the world regarding journalism education. As argued in the seminal work of Gaunt (1992, p. 2) on international journalism training: ‘‘[i]ndeed, whatever the geographic 20 MARK DEUZE  area or sociopolitical context, journalism educators and media professionals have had tocome to terms with the same problems’’. Another point of consensus among key scholarsin the field of journalism studies seems to be that the question what journalism is (orshould) be has become increasingly important in a media ecology best characterized bytechnological and cultural convergence, globalization and localization, and by anincreasingly fragmented and seemingly disinterested public (see e.g. de Beer and Merrill,2004; Deuze, 2005; Zelizer, 2000). For the purposes of this paper this important debateneeds to be addressed on its own, perhaps even before a school or program in journalismstudies and education takes shape. Pragmatically speaking, journalism within the contextof professional education and industry training means the preparation of students for acareer working in news media organizations and studying the work of those peopleeditorially responsible for different types of storytelling in a wide range of news media(following Weaver and Wilhoit, 1996, p. 4).Before I move on to conceptually integrate the literature, a recurring and mostfundamental discussion regarding global journalism education has to be resolved: theworldwide debate whether journalism education should exist at all  . In the United States,for example, this debate was reignited in 2002 when the president of Columbia Universityin New York halted the search for a new dean for the journalism school, and declared the journalism curriculum ‘‘insufficient’’ (Kunkel, 2003; Romano, 2003). The resulting (inter-)national debate and report published by a specially appointed taskforce did not seem toresolve key questions, but rather reinforced traditional notions of journalism and journalism education as necessary, crucial, and even having ‘‘an ascending importancein the modern world’’ (Bollinger, 2003, p. 1). Looking at the slowly but surely disappearingaudiences for mainstream news media as well as the corresponding impact of disintermediation all across the globe, such a conclusion seems overtly ambitious atbest, and dangerously naı¨ve at worst.Canadian educator Raudsepp (1989, p. 3) summed up the debate over time quiteclearly: ‘‘journalism education . . . has ended up as neither fish nor fowl; it feels itself unloved by the industry and tolerated, barely, by the academy’’, which argument can beheard throughout journalism’s history in, for example, the United States, as Starck (2000)explains. Dennis (1988, p. 4) called the debate between profession and education ‘‘adialogue of the deaf’’, a sentiment echoed for the Asia-Pacific region by Loo and Lau (2000,p. 3), voiced in similar terms for South Africa by de Beer (1995), and mirrored in Europe byStephenson (1997, p. 23): ‘‘the relationship between the world of academe and the worldof journalism is not a bed of roses’’. Gaunt (1992, p. 124) also considers the ‘‘deeplyentrenched antagonism between ‘‘professionals’’ (empı´ricos) and college graduates(universitarios)’’ a significant feature of journalism training in Latin America and theCaribbean. What underlies this global debate is the consensus among practitioners thatthe status quo in the industry is the ideal one, hence newcomers only need to internalizewhat their senior peers already do. On the other hand, university administrators andfaculty also tend to feel there is only one way of doing things  *  / the academic way, whichleads them to question the intellectual validity of adding vocational training to anotherwise largely ‘‘theoretical’’ program of study. Such Platonic ideas of either theprofession of journalism or the ‘‘nature’’ of the university obscure the more complex andcontinuous character of the relationship between thinking and doing, reflection andaction, theory and practice; these binary oppositions function extremely well to digfictitious trenches to separate the social systems of journalism and the academe. GLOBAL JOURNALISM EDUCATION 21  So journalism educators and scholars face similar struggles all over the world, havingto defend their curriculum, methods and theories against industry-wide shared notionsthat the academy is not the place to teach students how to get a job in the media, andthat journalism is not the place to thoroughly reflect on the roles and functions of newsmedia in society. Journalism education, in other words, must negotiate rather essentialistself-perceptions of both industry and academy, while at the same time finding ways tonavigate the inconsistencies of its own field (e.g. negotiating a tradition in both thehumanities and the social sciences). Research on journalism (education) therefore needs toconceptually address this dilemma, as choosing to lean towards either side  *  / anunwinnable strategy yet commonly advocated  *  / does not resolve the debate. Theimportance of this debate is that it is structural: it can be found in the earliest works on journalism education and training in the beginning of the 20th century, and it has beenrevisited regularly ever since. It can be resolved by dissolving the perceived dichotomybetween theory and practice. Yet this adds a level of complexity to our understanding of  journalism (and its education) that most likely would lead people in the field to protest, asit undermines entrenched perceptions of the different functions and thus legitimacy of both professional journalism and institutional learning in society.A worldwide comparison of contemporary approaches to, and programs of, journalism education also leads to the inevitable conclusion that all over the world journalism education is proliferating and differentiating, schools are started, specialprograms and initiatives deployed, new institutions or foundations erected. The world of  journalism education is becoming increasingly complex. At the same time  *  / not in theleast because of the trends as outlined above  *  /  journalism education everywhere isincreasingly facing the same issues. Using the cross-national comparative work of Gaunt(1992) and Fro¨hlich and Holtz-Bacha (2003), one can define five distinct types of journalismeducation worldwide: 1. Training at schools and institutes generally located at universities (see e.g. Finland, Spain,United States, Canada, South Korea, Egypt, Kenya, Argentina, the Gulf States, increasinglyin Great Britain and Australia; this is becoming the dominant mode of training journalists-to-be worldwide; some educators, particularly in Africa and Latin America, resist this modelon the grounds that it has neo-colonial features, making local programs increasinglydependent on global Western ideas and economies).2. Mixed systems of stand-alone and university-level training (France, Germany, India,Indonesia, China, Brazil, Nigeria, Turkey, South Africa).3. Journalism education at stand-alone schools (Netherlands, Denmark, Italy).4. Primarily on-the-job training by the media industry, for example through apprenticeshipsystems (Austria, Japan; Great Britain and Australia started this way, as this is a typicalfeature of the Anglo-Saxon model).5. All of the above, and particularly including commercial programs at universities as well asin-house training by media companies, publishers, trade unions, and other private orgovernment institutions (Eastern Europe, Cuba, North and Central Africa, the Middle East). Although one should not reduce regional and local complexities too much, theliterature does suggest most if not all systems of journalism education are moving towardsthe first or second model, indicating increasing levels of professionalization, formalizationand standardization worldwide. However, this is neither an inevitable nor necessarily lineardevelopment, and my argument should not be construed as a claim to singularity or 22 MARK DEUZE
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