The future journalist

24 May, 2021
Students sitting in classroom

Professor of Journalism Verica Rupar, Chair of the World Journalism Education Council, has received US$52,000 from UNESCO Paris for the proposal to investigate what shape journalism education should take in the 21st century.

“Changes to the career of journalism have been exacerbated by the pandemic. Journalism educators around the world are seeing the same trends playing out in their countries,” says Professor Rupar.

She proposed a series of roundtables, hosted by journalism educators around the world, inviting policy makers, media owners and civil society organisations to discuss the issues the industry is facing and coming up with recommendations and solutions.

Each roundtable will investigate a range of topics about the way the pandemic has affected communications in crisis.

The 16 roundtables will be held in Russia, Northern Ireland, Kyrgyzstan, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, India, Philippines, France, Belgium, Canada, the United States of America, Australia, Brazil, China and Nigeria.

Each roundtable will produce a report to be published on the WJEC website.

The roundtables will be followed by the publication of two new handbooks for journalism educators. The first handbook, edited by American professors Susan Keith and Raluco Cozma will investigate the impact on interacting online on journalism education.

“The online dynamic is completely different to in person, for both teaching and working in journalism,” says Professor Rupar. “Building trusted relationships with sources over a period time, the difficulties of information gathering exclusively online, all these things are challenging to working as a journalist, so this handbook will address how we can change our teaching and practice for an online world.”

The second handbook, edited by Maarit Jaakkola, professor from Sweden, will investigate the use of artificial intelligence in newsrooms, and how to prepare tomorrow’s journalists for this reality.

"Journalism has been hit by two crises – profitability and credibility. We have a duty to ensure future journalists are able to work with artificial intelligence and continue to ask the hard questions, hold governments to account and produce quality, trusted news.

“Teaching students journalism is not only teaching them to become journalists. The main part is teaching them to become good citizens. It about knowledge and skills, but it is mostly about being a good citizen. Journalism is civic education.

“Whatever job those students might go into they will have a good basis in civic education and will produce better advertising, more socially responsible public relations and podcasts.”

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