Posted on July 5, 2007
WJEC Declaration of Principles of Journalism Education
Last week in Singapore, at the first-ever World Journalism Education Congress, journalism educators from around the world adopted the Declaration of Principles of Journalism Education (full text posted at Rebecca MacKinnon’s blog). I so desperately wanted to attend the conference, but my obligation to my own university’s U.S. Study Institute on Journalism and Media made it impossible.
From the preamble of the declaration:
Journalism should serve the public in many important ways, but it can only do so if its practitioners have mastered an increasingly complex body of knowledge and specialized skills. Above all, to be a responsible journalist must involve an informed ethical commitment to the public.
The 11 principles adopted are quite good. I like three in particular.
Item No. 3:
Journalism educators should be a blend of academics and practitioners; it is important that educators have experience working as journalists.
Item No. 7:
Most undergraduate and many masters programs in journalism have a strong vocational orientation. In these programs experiential learning, provided by classroom laboratories and on-the-job internships, is a key component.
Item No. 10:
Journalism is a global endeavor; journalism students should learn that despite political and cultural differences, they share important values and professional goals with peers in other nations. Where practical, journalism education provides students with first-hand experience of the way that journalism is practiced in other nations.
I think all of us need to pay more attention to No. 10 nowadays. Our planet is too small for any of us to operate in isolation any longer.
There’s a good column about the WJEC declaration and its goals by journalist Guy Berger at the Mail & Guardian Online (South Africa). He teaches journalism at Rhodes University, in Grahamstown, South Africa.