06.03.2012 - UNESCO

UNESCO and DW-AKADEMIE support new media education in African schools of journalism

© Antje Bauer

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 10 young lecturers from 6 African journalism education institutions in Rabat, Morocco, from 5 to 16 March 2012. The training is hosted by the Institut supérieur de I'information et de la communication (ISIC).

Journalism educators from Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Madagascar, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia will share their teaching experiences with a focus on new media and multimedia. In the first week, participants will concentrate on developing their pedagogical skills through a Train-the-Trainer course that emphasizes new teaching methods: 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 the use of new media, which can play an important role in development in Africa.

“The region has witnessed major change with the recent political and social movements, and media have largely reflected these trends. This not only refers to traditional media, but also to new media. Blogs, citizen journalism and social networks have occupied a key role in this change. It is necessary to incorporate these different forms of expression within training structures in media,” said Issiali Aarab, Head of Institut supérieur de I'information et de la communication. “For us this training coincides with the implementation of an ambitious development plan of the Institute. This plan will, on the one hand, raise the standard of the techno-pedagogical infrastructures, and, on the other, represent a vast reform of pedagogical content, aimed at better adapting our training to the changes and demands of the various professions within the field of communication, information and media.”

This training is the second 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 programmes for journalists. Staff training forms a key part of this effort in building capacities of teaching staff through training and exchange programmes with other universities. Many African journalism education institutions have in principle embraced professional journalistic standards. However, the majority lacks resources to develop a learning environment 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 centres of excellence and centres 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 and accurate flow of information. Media committed to attaining these standards enable citizens’ participation and accountability mechanisms. Professional independent media foster democracy.

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