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Title:Between journalism 'universals' and the development of a journalism programme in an East African context
Author:Skjerdal, Terje S.ISNI
Periodical:Journal of African Media Studies
Geographic term:Ethiopia
higher education
educational cooperation
Abstract:One of the main dilemmas facing journalism education across Africa is whether one can argue for a 'universal' set of journalistic standards while at the same time maintaining a culturally sensitive journalism practice. Underlying the dilemma is the question of whether there is a need to identify an 'African journalism' philosophy that is normatively different from its Western counterpart. This is illustrated by a newly started MA programme in journalism at Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, which is supported by the Norwegian government through the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD). A curriculum was designed with particular focus on democracy and human rights. In light of this programme, the article argues that rather than seeing journalistic practices as a negotiation between journalism 'universals' and cultural particulars they ought to be seen as the interplay between the two. Following this argument, the article calls for a rethinking and distinction of the roles of conventional news media and alternative media. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]