CHAIR: Zvenyika Mugari

Note: Click on the title to read the full paper. Click on the author’s name to read their biography.

Developing undergraduate journalism curricula: Concerns and issues
Monica B. Chibita, Makerere University, Kampala.

The paper presents a number of different concerns in developing and reviewing journalism curricula in African Universities, and is based primarily on the experience of developing and reviewing journalism curricula in Uganda. Some of the issues the paper addresses include admission requirements for journalism programmes; the impact of the “numbers game” on quality of teaching; and the challenges of teaching writing in the current educational and media environment. It also looks at the dilemma of meeting the needs of indigenous language media and rural communities, while also incorporating content relevant to new media. Finally the paper seeks to stimulate debate on the ideal mix of theory and practice in the African context between “pure journalism” and general education courses, stand-alone media courses and/or integrated new media content and journalism and communication courses.

Teaching Journalism in an Uncertain System: The Peculiarity of the University of Ibadan, a UNESCO Potential Centre of Reference
Oyewo Olusola Oyeyinka, PhD, University of Ibadan, Nigeria.

The growth of the media sector in Nigeria in the last decade has led to a demand for the training of journalists. There has consequently been an upsurge in the number of journalism and communications training institutions and programmes in the country. At present, Nigeria has more than 80 institutions offering journalism and communications. These institutions range from universities, polytechnics, colleges of technology, and monotechnics and other affiliates. The upsurge has equally raised a lot of questions especially with respect to the quality of teaching and training. This paper therefore, focuses on the peculiarity of teaching journalism in an uncertain system; (political, economic and social), with special attention on the university of Ibadan, a UNESCO potential centre of reference. Consequently, the paper submits that certain factors such as improper definition of curriculum, ambivalent structure of the department, quality of staff (theory vs. practice), facilities (energy, equipment), development strategy (budget and sustainability, management, links and recognition) adversely affect the institution’s output of journalism training.

Proliferation of Journalism Institutions and its Effects on Professional Standards in Nigeria
Prof, Ralph A. Akinfeleye, University of Lagos, Nigeria.

The paper presents the state of pundity of journalism education in Nigeria and argues for proper regulatory frameworks for the establishment and control of journalism institutions in Africa. Akinfeleye (2003, 2008) and Momoh (2005) have noted that the number of journalism schools in Nigeria has doubled. While only two journalism training institutions were established between 1962 and 1980, by 2009, the number had risen to 63, some accredited, others unaccredited or unaccreditable. The proliferation of journalism institutions without the accompanying human and financial capital as prerequisites, inadequate funding, powerful regulatory bodies, proper accreditation benchmarks, and the inability of journalists to “police” their own ranks have negatively affected good and enduring professional standards.

These papers discusses the follwoing basic questions:

  • Is journalism a profession or a craft in Africa?
  • Should it be professionalised?
  • Is government regulation preferred over professional self-regulation?
  • Are there existing and generally acceptable codes of professional ethics for African journalists?
  • Who should control the establishment of journalism education?
  • What are the legal frameworks for establishing journalism schools in Africa/(Nigeria)?