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Communication and Information Resources

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Communication and Information Sector's news service

6 July (3.30 p.m. to 4.45 p.m.), Eden Grove Red Room
UNESCO is organising a panel on “Driving the Future of Journalism Curricula: The Model Curriculum in Journalism Education” on Tuesday July 6, 2010. Coordinated by Kaarle Nordenstreng, the panel will review the progress of adaptation of the Model Curricula for Journalism Education in many regions of the world.

Over the years, UNESCO has taken various initiatives in improving the quality of journalism education worldwide. In December 2005, in response to requests from several member states, UNESCO convened a meeting of journalism educators in Paris to consider journalism education curricula to meet this demand. The UNESCO Model Curricula for Journalism Education was presented to the first World Journalism Education Congress in Singapore in June 2007, and endorsed.

The UNESCO Model Curricula for Journalism Education offer a set of competencies and course listings and descriptions for bachelor’s, master’s and diploma programmes, together with detailed syllabuses for 17 core courses. The curricula are not meant to be prescriptive. They are models that need to be adapted by journalism educators to meet local needs and resources.

Among the curricula’s principles are the following:

  • The curricula are designed to prepare students to do journalism rather than to understand how journalism fits into the field or system of mass communications.
  • A fundamental understanding of the curricula is that the practice of journalism is intellectually challenging.
  • The curricula begin with foundations designed to prepare students for the study of journalism techniques: an ability to think critically and to write clearly, and knowledge of local, regional, national and international political, economic, cultural, religious, and social institutions and issues. The curricula place special emphasis on reporting and writing.

  • By 2010, 54 journalism training institutions from 44 countries had agreed to adapt the model curricula to suit their institutional specificities. The publication is now available in 7 languages: English, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Chinese and Nepali. UNESCO is also developing an Open Educational Resources (OER) Platform and will make the Model Curricula for Journalism Education available as an OER. The OER Platform will allow journalism schools to openly share their curricula and encourage journalism schools to build or enhance their curricula by freely comparing and adapting content from the UNESCO Model and shared curricula.