The World Journalism Education Council is an informal coalition representing 32 academic associations worldwide that are involved in journalism and mass communication at the university level. By bringing organizations from six continents together, the Council hopes to provide a common space for journalism educators from around the world and to focus on issues that are universal in the field.
Welcome to the World Journalism Education Census database. The database contains 2,324 journalism programs.
The purpose of the World Journalism Education Census is to identify journalism education programs around the world and provide contact information and a link to those programs Web sites.
To view information about the programs in the database, use the drop-down menu to select a country then select a program.
The goal was simple: conduct a census of journalism education worldwide by 2010. Doing it has proved a bit more complicated.
The presidents of ASJMC and AEJMC have worked to internationalize both organizations for at least seven year now.
The Task Force on Internationalization was initially headed by Dennis Davis, Otago University, New Zealand, and Kazumi Hasagawa, Maryland, Baltimore County, and later by Joe Foote and supported by both AEJMC and ASJMC. It set the goal of assembling a meeting of the officers of journalism education associations from around the world — the first such meeting ever to be held. The objective was to explore the areas of common concern for all journalism educators world wide, to examine basic approaches to teaching journalism around the world, and to issue a Declaration of Principles upon which all journalism education organizations could agree. The meeting, called the World Journalism Education Congress, ultimately was held in Singapore in April.
A World Journalism Education Census
The Task Force set one additional goal: to assemble the first ever census of journalism education around the world, that is, to try to identify every journalism education program that could be found and to assemble basic contact information for each program.
The initiative attracted funding from the Knight Foundation, which has sponsored a series of international efforts to improve journalism around the world. The Institute for Research and Training at the University of Oklahoma is conducting the study with Joe Foote and me leading a team of graduate students and enlisting experts from around the world in the effort. It is a three-year project that will run until 2010.
The Institute has formed partnerships with the 28 journalism education associations that participated in the World Journalism Education Congress. Each association represents a different region of the world and was part of the planning effort for the World Journalism Education Congress. They have been joined by a list of experts from around the world in vetting and expanding the list.
The census project set four goals:
Attempts have been made before to assemble lists of international journalism education programs. For example, a list of 221 programs outside the United States was compiled at the instigation of AEJMC's Committee on International Journalism Education with the help of the Voice of America's Office of International Media Training and The Freedom Forum and published in the AEJMC Directory in 1995.
Kent Sidel, of the College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of South Carolina, led that effort. Ellen Hume, director of the Center on Media and Society at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, compiled a report and list of independent international journalism training programs for the Knight Foundation in 2004. That report and list were published by the Knight Foundation under the title "The Media Missionaries."
A number of Web sites also have provided lists and links to journalism education programs around the world. A good example is the MediaWise Trust organization (formerly PressWise Trust) operating out of Bristol, England, which focuses on issues of media ethics. The organization maintains an extensive list of international journalism training programs on its Web site.
Another site, operated by the International Center for Journalism and called IJNet (International Journalists' Network), uses a clickable map to publish an extensive list of training programs operated by NGOs, international organizations, foundations, and private training centers to train journalists in more than 150 countries around the world.
The WJEC Census project has been designed in three phases with three parts to each phase. The first phase was designed to develop preliminary results that could be reported at the World Journalism Education Congress meeting in Singapore in June of 2007. This phase had to be conducted in about six months. This first phase developed a list of programs, conducted a pilot study of the programs identified at that point, and asked experts in different regions of the world to assess the quality of the list of programs identified.
The list was drawn from three sources:
The second phase will be conducted during the second year of the project. It will consist of an expansion of the initial list of programs; an attempt to conduct a more comprehensive survey of all programs world wide through mailings, email contact, and telephone follow-up calls by the study team and by our regional partners; and an extensive review of the program list by a panel of experts from across the world.
The third phase of the study will be conducted in the third year of the project. It will consist of sorting programs into three lists based upon the program characteristics discovered in the world survey of programs. One list will be of higher education-affiliated programs. The second list will be of practitioner and privately operated education programs whose quality can be verified. The third list will be of programs that can be vouched for but whose quality cannot be verified. These lists will be further vetted and attempts will be made to learn as much as we can about each one. A more extensive survey of program characteristics also will be conducted.
At the end of that process, the three types of programs will be listed on the interactive Web site with their contact information so that students seeking information about programs in different regions of the world and communication scholars seeking to do additional studies will be able to access the information.
The first phase of the project is complete. Preliminary results of the study were presented to the World Journalism Education Congress meeting in June in Singapore. At that point 1,859 journalism education programs had been identified worldwide.
A pilot survey instrument designed to test ways of identifying the basic characteristics of the programs was sent to that preliminary list of programs. That initiative required surveys to be returned within eight weeks for results to be presented in Singapore. Because of the short turn-around time for that portion of the study, those returning the instrument were disproportionately from the United States and Europe. However, the study provided a good indication of the kinds of information the study can produce about journalism education around the world. The instrument will be revised to include additional questions before it is sent out to the expanded list of programs in the second phase of the study in the spring of 2008. A more aggressive attempt to get data from all regions of the world will be made through joint mailings and telephone calls with our partner organizations in the second phase.
By early fall, the number of programs identified in the early weeks of phase two had been expanded to 2,487 journalism education programs world-wide and that number was still growing. Updated lists of these programs and their contact information will be posted to the AEJMC Web site, where the complete list is available for review. The list is still expanding as the effort to identify new programs continues in the second phase of the study.
It has been widely reported that the numbers of journalism education programs is rapidly expanding around the world. The preliminary findings of this study seem to confirm those reports. The number of programs in China, India, Russia, and Brazil especially seem to be growing rapidly. Difficulties in assessing the quality of these programs make it urgent that a worldwide dialogue about the principles of journalism education and basic data about how journalism is being taught be undertaken.
This project began as part of the internationalization efforts of AEJMC and ASJMC and was embraced by journalism education associations across the globe as part of the World Journalism Congress initiative. It was expanded with support of the Knight Foundation as part of its efforts to improve the practice of journalism worldwide. This initiative already has demonstrated value of such an effort. The project will continue for the next two years. The results will be reported at the next meeting of what will now be called the World Journalism Education Council of major international journalism education associations planned in two to three years' time.
A number of challenges already have been revealed by the effort — challenges of how journalism education should be defined, challenges having to do with technology change and challenges of costs, reliable contact information, varying financial support. However, developing a basic database and census of journalism education should give educators and scholars an important tool in better understanding how journalism is taught and what can be done to improve journalism education throughout the world.
This material was written by Charles Self, former dean of the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Oklahoma. Self is now director of its Institute for Research and Training. He has served as AEJMC president and ASJMC president.