SUNDAY 10.45 – 12.30
PANEL 4: TEACHING JOURNALISM: CASE STUDIES
CHAIR: Sr Rose Nyondo
Note: Click on the title to read the full paper. Click on the author’s name to read their biography.
Broadening Horizons: The Process of Putting Theory into Practice for a University Student Newspaper
Wanja Njuguna, University of Botswana, Gaborone.
The paper seeks to document the life of the newspaper, UB Horizon-a student learning tool for University of Botswana’s Media Studies Department, from its formation in August 2007 to date. The main goal of the newspaper was to help the students convert theory into practice by sharpening the writing skills they acquired in the print courses. The students would be totally involved in running the paper but trained and supervised by a lecturer with extensive print journalism experience. The students, led by an editorial team, were to do all the work pertaining to a newspaper from collecting and writing stories, editing, soliciting adverts, designing the newspaper and distribution. The lecturer in charge of the newspaper would supervise the whole process. This would include final editing and ensure the newspaper is up to standard for publication. Two years on, most of the intentions have been realised and the newspaper’s circulation has grown from the initial 3 500 to 10 000. The newspaper has had many positive changes as well as numerous challenges. For example, a partnership with a local advertising company to solicit ads, market, publish and distribute the newspaper has created a dilemma between professional experience and freedom of the press, challenges that were not envisioned. But despite the challenges, since the beginning of the academic year 2009/2010, the newspaper has been fully incorporated into the curricula of the print courses, albeit with a different set of challenges as well as positive experiences. In this paper, the writer will look at the challenges of starting an intentional student learning tool, the positives, negatives and lessons learned, among others.
Teaching Investigative Journalism: Towards a Model Curriculum
Muyiwa Popoola, Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo State, Nigeria.
This article is an attempt to emphasize the inclusion of what is coined in this paper as PUNASOW in teaching investigative journalism as a course. PUNASOW is an acronym for Purpose, Nature, Sources of, and Writing Structure of Investigative journalism. This advocacy is rooted in the incontrovertible stance that the press is the Fourth Estate of the Realm; and that of all the journalistic forms of reporting, investigative journalism seems the most potent and appropriate journalistic tool for performing creditably the watchdog function over the Legislature, Executive and Judiciary. Consequently, this paper exposes the components of PUNASOW and posits that, in teaching investigative journalism, it is compulsory to include them in the course contents and expatiate on them, as they irrefutably form and constitute the nucleus of investigative journalism. As submitted in this paper, this will bring about an effective teaching and learning of investigative journalism and situate investigative journalism education appropriately for result oriented application of this timeless journalistic genre to societal needs.
Journalism schools and departments are faced with a number of challenges in adapting their curricula to meet the demands of a changing professional media landscape. One approach is to add new courses in online journalism, citizen journalism, television journalism, radio journalism etc. The more radical and necessary approach, the authors suggest, is to re-think the way we teach journalism. This should be based on the reality that we are uncertain of future technologies and how journalists will use them, and the likelihood that future journalists may find that not only the range of media workplaces but the operational structures of those workplaces may change and vary greatly. Teaching needs to impart skills and values common to all journalism practice, and inculcate a flexibility to adapt and use these in an as yet undefined variety of contexts. Over the last two years the authors have been involved in developing a new media course which has experimented with some of the most advanced technologies. The case study points to the challenge of using these new technologies not only (or mainly) to teach students how to use them but rather to teach them how to use what they know about journalism whatever the medium they find themselves working in.