17.01.2012 - UNESCO

UNESCO and DW-AKADEMIE support Africa’s journalism education institutions

© Mark Fredericks, Walter Sisulu University

DW-AKADEMIE, Deutsche Welle’s international center for media development, media consulting and journalism training, is organizing in cooperation with UNESCO, a Train-the-Trainer Course for 12 young lecturers from 8 African journalism education institutions in East London, South Africa from 16 to 27 January 2012. The training is hosted by Walter Sisulu University.

Journalism Educators from Namibia, Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe will share their experiences of teaching journalism with a focus on community media. In the first week, participants will concentrate on developing their pedagogical skills through a Train-The-Trainer course that emphasizes new teaching methods. The aim is for training methods to become more interactive, participative and practice-oriented, thus allowing students to apply newly acquired skills and knowledge directly. In the second week, the group will concentrate on community media, which can play an important role in development in Africa.

"We are very excited to host this intensive two-week course at the Walter Sisulu University School of Media Studies" said Phil Schneider, Head of School of Media Studies and Communication. "Our young journalism and broadcast lecturers face many challenges in today's fast changing media landscape and this course offers them an opportunity to learn new and creative pedagogical approaches to their own teaching and learning styles. The focus on community media is particularly important for lecturers as they are becoming more involved with development media of all kinds."

This training is the first of three courses due to take place in Africa within the framework of a UNESCO/DW-AKADEMIE joint initiative to strengthen 20 selected African universities´ capacities to offer high quality journalism education programs for aspiring and working journalists. Staff training forms a key part of this effort in building capacities of teaching staff through training and exchange programs with other universities. Many African journalism education institutions have in principle embraced professional journalistic standards. However, the majority lack the resources to develop a learning environment that is able to address the needs of aspiring and working journalists.

The 20 selected universities are part of the UNESCO IPDC Special Initiative entitled “The need of quality journalism education in Africa. Building centres of excellence”. In 2007, UNESCO identified a number of institutions with the potential to become "Centers of Excellence" and "Centers of reference" in Africa. UNESCO supports these institutions in their drive to achieve excellence in journalism education with a view to becoming role models for other universities in the region.

Professional journalistic standards assure a continuous, independent, serious and accurate flow of information. Media committed to attaining these standards enable citizen participation and accountability mechanisms. Professional independent media foster democracy.




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