Journalism schools should aim at practical components- Dr.Margaret Jjuuko

Margaret Jjuuko was recently awarded a PhD in Journalism and Media Studies. She is a senior lecturer and research coordinator at the University of Rwanda, School of Journalism and Communication. In her interview with Denis Jjuuko, she tips on what is missing from the journalism schools and how they could be improved?

Margaret Jjuuko says, There are several limitations but I will only talk about two here. To begin with, Journalism Schools especially at the university level need to lay emphasis on practical components and reduce on theory.

I mean, you cannot write a story on agriculture by looking on the normative theories of the mass media. Rather, the theories only remind you on your journalistic responsibilities but will neither tell you much about the ABC’s of information gathering and story packaging, nor about your ethical responsibilities in a practical sense.

Second, I think we are missing out on the context. You see many of the books that guide us in teaching are written based on Western and Northern models – mainly American and European and also borrow from these contextual experiences.

What we need are case studies based on our African or regional and national contexts within which we operate. The case study teaching method is appropriate at both undergraduate and graduate levels.

It provide learners with an overview of the issue at hand, background on the setting (typically the individual, company or institution, industry, and a larger environment or society), the people involved, and the issues that led to the event (s), problem or decision at hand.

Case studies are typically accompanied by teaching notes, which outline the basic premise of the case study, how it can be applied to real reporting, etc.

This article was picked from an interview conducted by Denis Jjuuko and published by Journalism Uganda

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