Journalists work in difficult media environments, competing with politicians, spreaders of disinformation and others in order to gain audiences. Media and Journalism Education programs give journalists tools to keep up.
Journalists and community reporters play a crucial role in making public dialogue more inclusive, but shrinking media budgets and faster production cycles make it harder for them to produce quality reports that earn public trust. The Internet has also altered revenue streams threatening media outlets’ viability as well as journalists’ salaries. In response, media workers need additional skills to produce innovative formats and novel distribution channels.
Quality journalism is a DW Akademie focus, with Media and Journalism Education (MJE) one of its main fields of action. Free of political and economic constraints, journalism schools offering an MJE program can be at the forefront of shaping the media sector.
The schools support media practitioners in all stages of their careers: journalism students, community reporters, mid-career media professionals, editors-in-chief and media managers. MJE programs are tailored to the needs of the environments that these media workers serve, and show how quality journalism benefits both the public and the media outlets themselves.
Media workers need five crucial skills that are part of the MJE programs: journalism basics, the understanding of media’s role in society, technology and innovative formats, entrepreneurial journalism and subject expertise.
Together with our partners, we help strengthen existing MJE structures and, where necessary, assist in developing new ones. We develop curricula that help spread innovation within the media ecology, and which combine theory and practice. We support instructors in keeping track of journalism trends and methods, and work with community media to offer innovative training for disadvantaged groups. In addition, we create networks that bring together educators, media organizations and civil society, and use human-centered design to tailor programs to the needs of target groups.
Universities, journalism schools and training programs that are part of a network can offer independent spaces for MJE programs. Here, media workers can reflect on journalism’s goals without outside interference. These institutes require a legal framework in order to develop their own curricula and certify quality programs. Support from the media industry is important, especially as young journalists find their way into the profession. Media and Journalism Education also requires sufficient resources to develop innovative programs, and these programs should be open to all segments of society.
In Southern Africa, DW Akademie supports a network of media professionals and learning institutes, and develops hands-on curricula that enable journalists to adapt to the digital age and provide trustworthy, balanced information.
Universities in Lebanon use human-centered design to develop innovative journalism education programs. Some of the modules include games to teach journalism students complex issues such as digital security.
Making MJE accessible to disadvantaged groups is a special focus. In Burkina Faso, we work with community radio stations to train local correspondents to report on issues important to rural areas and internally displaced people. The goal is to give these people a voice in the public sphere.
In Bolivia, digital learning platforms offer state-of-the-art journalism training to rural community reporters and journalists, using blended learning concepts and online classes. Collaborative innovation labs also work with media professionals and civil society to support participative journalism.
By experimenting with new forms of journalism, MJE pushes for change and shows media practitioners how public-interest journalism also strengthens the viability of their media outlets.
High-quality MJE contributes to a constructive dialogue and a more inclusive society. In concert with our other fields of action, it enhances: