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WJEC 3 Syndicates Recommendations
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WJEC 3 Syndicates Recommendations

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  • 1. Syndicate 1b – How to cope with spin • Make your institution’s approach towards the borderline between PR and journalism education transparent and release a code of ethics explaining to students, faculty and sponsors your position on education in this field. • Raise your journalism student’s awareness for the fact that they cannot avoid the contact and confrontation with PR and spin work, because all organizations have communication functions. • Teach your journalism students not to see PR professionals as enemies, because they are interdependent parts of the public sphere. • Teach the mechanisms and methods of PR and spin work, in order to make students aware of its hidden influence on agenda setting, framing, priming and storytelling. • Train the students applying different didactical approaches, in order to train them how to use PR, and not to be used by PR professionals.
  • 2. Syndicate 2a – Data-journalism Basic skills (in existing course) • To empower our students and offer them a chance to add value to their reports to increase their capacity to search, find and check numbers in already existing open databases, • To cooperate with IT guys to translate them in the most common language, visualize them in simple and beautiful graphics and share them through exciting stories using free tools who are already available online. Advanced skills (in new course) • Digging into social patterns analysis, exploring more complex statistics equation, matching huge sets of databases • Building their own references with design and graphs.
  • 3. Syndicate 2b - Storytelling • Storytelling needs to be better defined (like entrepreneurship). The word applies to so many topics and approaches and gets taught in so many different ways. It’s confusing for journalism students. • There are different ideas about whether storytelling should be required or elective. The major issue in teaching storytelling is time. Narrative takes time and resources. • There needs to be much more curriculum sharing so that there is less overlap of what is being taught and so that teachers within the same team know what their colleagues are teaching. We recommend that there is a section about curriculum sharing at the next WJEC. • There is a large base of knowledge about storytelling available as a resource that teachers and students can draw on. It would be good to gather a long list of those resources to be shared among those who teach storytelling so the teaching of it is less ad-hoc. • Regarding sharing best-practices cross-culturally, it is agreed that there are too few scholarly studies on the different approaches on storytelling around the world (in a journalistically-related way). It is recommended that this is a topic at the next WJEC.
  • 4. Syndicate 3a – Young journalists on global issues • Global reporting should be taught as an approach, and a mindset; it is not about reporting on specific places. It is collaborative, inclusive, connected and self-reflective. It challenges norms and stereotypes. • Educators should expose their students to other realities. There are many ways to do this – such as travel, online technologies, and having a diverse student or staff body. • Educators should encourage international collaboration as a core element of journalism, and facilitate it wherever possible. • The journalism curriculum should be global throughout. In our interconnected world, global reporting cannot be considered a specialism. • Approaches to, and experiences of education on global reporting should be shared through a global network. The WJEC would be an ideal ‘host’ for this.
  • 5. Syndicate 3b – Reporting Europe 1) Create interest in the European level. Experience Europe is better than studying it. Contacts with correspondents, lobbies and local agencies are more efficient than visiting a parliament to increase interest in Europe. 2) Intercultural competences are the starting point to deal with Europe. It is about being aware of your own culture and to deal with cultural differences. 3) Specialized courses on European reporting must encourage the skills of entrepreneurship for their students. The future is for those students who are able to cover specific news and find their sources in Europe (other countries and EU institutions) 4) Social media and new apps provide new opportunities to find European news and contacts. 5) Language skills are needed. As Europe is more than EU institutions, students must be able to communicate with other cultures and not only deal with the official documents.
  • 6. Syndicate 4a - Empowerment through information and media literacy • First, educator should not only know the target students’ media habits (user, consumer, reader or audience. • We should teach students how to de-construct the media messages coming from different kinds of sources so that they can realize and analyze the ideological, cultural, ethnic, nationalist, propagandist or corporate biases. • Our approach should be based on the target student’s level of relationship with the media and not be ethnocentric. We need empiric data to understand different media usage in different countries. • We must be active social media user and have competence and qualification in social media usage, so that we can teach new media skills and criticism. • We should encourage our students to make their own media so that they can produce better information and be better communicators than the others.
  • 7. 4a Recommendation: Media literacy education is becoming so important in an age of information flow. Journalism students should be aware of misinformation, disinformation, deception and propaganda coming from the different kinds of media sources. Right to get the “truth” about the world events should be a human right. Trust in journalism and news media is in decline in many countries. That’s why, first, journalism students should know about the basics and purpose of journalism and then be responsible and accountable about the information they share, (re)produce and disseminate through the social/traditional media channels.
  • 8. Syndicate 4b – Young people and the news • There needs to be relating and bridging of real life to social media of young people for stimulating and attracting their interest in news. • Look for opportunities to diversify different opinions of young people; particularly their expectations of Facebook as a site of ‘friends’. This is also important for ethics. • Benefits of research and history to create context to enhance process and product. • Create environment of projects and games for content to enhance pedagogy. • Use the benefits of distance learning, online learning and open education programs for those students who can not easily access. • To create more engagement, positive and solution oriented content attracts young people. • Use of documentaries can be also helpful. • Benefit from interest areas of young people, such as entertainment and sports, to create links to other issues and concepts. • It is important to build and recognize identities for fragmented communities.
  • 9. Syndicate 5a – Journalism in a network society • Concept of the Network Society. There is value to teaching theories about both fields and networks. A theoretical base will help the student (and journalist) to understand the function of networks and the roles we play within them. You use the network and the network uses you. Recommendation: Integration of this concept in all courses, in much the same way we urge the teaching of ethics across the curriculum. • Complexity. We live in a complex society. Knowledge about networks can help journalists make complexity comprehensible. Journalism is not about making complex issues simple, rather is to make complexity understandable. The network is a tool to discover, explore and explain. Recommendation: In this context we need to rethink the concept that balance is presenting both sides and that the sides are equal.
  • 10. Syndicate 5a – Journalism in a network society • Citizenship and Democracy. The network empowers everyone to ”commit acts of journalism” and contribute to the process of being an informed and active citizen. Using network is effective and powerful ways to work for democracy. Recommendations: Teach the concepts and practices that the network enables collaborative actions towards holding institutions to account. • Life-long learning. There are many different ways to be journalist and many different ways to do journalism. The skills and tools will continue to change. Technology and innovation are essential to success in a network society. Take risks. Recommendation: Teach journalism as a space for enquiry and experimentation. Equip students and alumni with an understanding that craft is perfected over time and that life-long learning is vital. • Real virtuality. Because many students are embedded on the digital network and often are uncomfortable with personal encounters, they don’t always understand the value of ”off-network” experience. Recommendations: Journalism educators should give students the tools and skills for ”verification of the real.” For example, teaching students the importance of directly observing events and people. Students need to bear witness.
  • 11. Syndicate 5b – Citizen journalism and civic journalism • Promote a collaborative spirit within a team and between citizens and journalists. This entails an attitude of openness, transparency and not rushing (taking your time) when doing citizen/civic journalism. It also means students need to go out into the real communities and meet/work/communicate with real people - and recognize that the public may not see the practice of journalism the same way that journalists do. • Familiarize the students with the theory in civic and public journalism and embed the research in practice. Teach students to analyse existing participatory practices and learn from this. • Pay attention to ethical guidelines for the use of social media and ethics of community engagement. The use of social media during a journalism production will vary from beginning to end (from crowdsourcing, publicizing and from simple to very complex projects). • Teach students conceptual tools to understand the dynamics of communities in addition to the skills to facilitate community engagement. And make students aware of their own and potential networks and communities. • Inspire faculty and students to think and act entrepreneurially, because so many projects of this type will be start-ups
  • 12. Syndicate 6a – Shifting goals of journalism education • Developing entrepreneurship; including project management ability, and to identify and handle change. • Encouraging the students to continue thinking innovatively and creatively. • Developing capacity building for strategic & craft competences in a world, where the journalist is moving from gatekeeper to sense-maker. • Enhancing the ongoing professional development for educators. Educating the educators, and engaging different players (students, trainers and educators). • Continue prioritizing the ethical Implications (plagiarism, fact checking, verifying sources, critically analyzing the sources, while considering local settings)
  • 13. Syndicate 6b – Role perceptions and professional values worldwide 1. The roles of journalists and functions of journalism in society should be taught and researched as a central element in journalism education, taking into account the cultural and social contexts 2. The dynamic nature of professional roles should be recognized in journalism education and be the subject of continuing conversation among relevant stakeholder – educators, practitioners, researchers, civil society and industry 3. Journalism education should build upon universal values such as truth- seeking and public service as well as respecting human values as articulated international law 4. Journalism education should promote journalistic practices that emphasize diversity, pluralism and multiculturalism in the local, national and global contexts 5. Journalism education should promote professional roles that are senstitive to issues of inequality, poverty and deprivation among, between and within nations