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Comunicar Journal 32: Mapping Media Education. Policies in the world (Vol. 16 - 2009)

Media education issues for professionals and citizens: Bridging the divides in countries of the South

https://doi.org/10.3916/c32-2009-02-003

Jamal-Eddine Naji

Abstract

Information and communication technologies (ICT) are imposing a radical reform in journalism and media education. Without a strategic, participatory pedagogical vision, journalism and media literacy will not work to the advantage of the plan for a democratic and inclusive information society. By the same token, they will be unable to reduce the gap experienced world-wide between training and employment, nor will they have a positive impact on Government or media operators’ policies, nor on the practices of professionals and citizens, particularly in cyberspace. The media are a source of knowledge, a development tool, a citizenship matrix, a source for construction of the «social being» and peace. The ultimate issue is the advent of an inclusive information society, and particularly in the countries of the South, its solid emergence depends on an «emancipation journalism». This must be the objective of all media education.

Keywords

ICT, employment, vision, pedagogy, citizen journalism, information society

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1. Introduction

Journalism has been taught in the schools for less than one hundred years. Professional development and upgrading of skills for professionals in this sector have only been institutionalized in media sector businesses for the last five decades or so. Overall, the pace of reforms in these areas of education in the oldest and most prestigious educational institutions (concentrated in the North, in Europe and North America) has been quite slow compared to certain other curricula in the areas of what is considered human or social sciences. Quite often, reforms have been set out and even imposed by pure technological inventions, involving mechanical, technical or equipment procedures which allow contents to be manufactured (intellectually produced by journalists) and distributed. Consequently, when training or upgrading programmes were reformed or revised, they were often limited to new learning and skill sets in the areas of printing, audio and video recording, and the creation of images, composites of all types, colour manipulation, shape effects and special effects, etc.

This is increasingly the case for continuing education and skills upgrading for professionals. These programmes –when employers allow them on a more or less regular basis– are most often provided by salesmen after the purchase of new equipment and are for the simple purpose of familiarizing, or at best, for training journalists and other media personnel to the newly acquired technology. As a result, we have witnessed fewer in-depth reforms in the rules of writing, in the intrinsic conception of contents, genres and content objectives. Accordingly, such training targeted for journalism professionals or university teaching for journalism students, is very often deemed by media professionals and their employers as being out of sync or behind the times when compared to current or new journalism practices in the field, thanks particularly to new technological tools or unique innovations in content and form created by the professional as dictated by practice and practical experience.

At the same time, numerous observers, UN organizations and international specialized NGOs are reaching the same conclusion as these professional environments regarding the unsuitability of academic teaching and targeted professional training in contrast with the new media issues facing modern societies and their aspirations, which are increasingly shared around the world, by North and South alike. These aspirations are guided by the credo of democracy, values and human rights, which are also part of the universal objective of the «Information Society» in which the citizen becomes a full stakeholder, producing content and opinions himself, having access to all means of information and communication, even appropriating them, thanks to ICTs, satellite and digital broadcasts, the worldwide web and the opportunities for participation and interactivity that, in principle, these technologies provide to every user, in rich and poor countries alike.

Many analyses and criticisms in this regard are now calling for education in «citizen journalism», in other words, «emancipation journalism», concerned about proposing an alternative to classical journalism in the name of universal citizen values and an assumed commitment along these same lines, i.e. «media education», intended for current and future professionals and ordinary citizens alike, which must be unwaveringly inspired by the great principles proclaimed by the international community (governments and civil society) during the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in 2003-051.

2. The Great Divide between Training and Employment

In 1999, a world study entitled «Training and Jobs in Communication» [Formation et emploi en communication] launched by ORBICOM, the network of UNESCO chairs in communication, emphasized quite specifically that the gap is growing between training offered and job market needs, especially with regard to advanced ICTs. The study offered the following observations: «The industrialized world, emerging economies and the developing world are facing the same challenges: adapting training to market needs, re-thinking education on the basis of the impact of information technologies on the communication professions, improving the infrastructure and facilitating access to training and education… The information technologies have radically transformed the nature of the information and communication professions –journalism, advertising, public relations, communication management and the rest. From now on, knowledge of the various operating systems, and the possibility of research on the internet are the prerequisites for access to the job market… How these professions are taught in universities and other training centres is crucial. Professionals who are already working need to upgrade and enhance their skills, and those leaving educational institutions must possess the necessary skills to find a job… The world-wide flow of information and data open new perspectives for the circulation of information and the expansion of trade, but they also cause a dread of cultural homogenization, the commercialization of knowledge, international crime and the non-authorized dissemination of intellectual property… The new information and communication technologies are therefore on policy-makers’ agenda»2.

The distinguishing feature of the need to reform journalism training, a need that has always existed, is the unprecedented pace at which technology and technical communication tools have evolved. If this evolution, with its subsequent advances in printing, radio, television, telephone and fax, has encouraged training institutions to attempt to catch up with the new know-how arising from these technical achievements, it seems right that with the ICT and cyberspace era, the necessity for reform has become an outright necessity for revolution, for calling into question everything about what is taught, from top to bottom, and their management and organizational frameworks. And this is true in both the North and South, in the so-called «info-rich countries» and «info-poor countries» alike. Therefore, the first lesson to be taken from this formidable evolution –which is not without threats for societies and individuals– is that from now on, media education must be more receptive and much more alert to the place of technology, equipment and their advances throughout the world. This is because we can no longer rely upon national or regional situations where one could be content to experience a technological age that more or less fulfils the role expected by the media in that setting, while other regions of the world operate in a different, more advanced technological age. For decades, for example, countries of the South inhabited «Gutenberg’s Galaxy» with their heat printed newspapers, along side the media in the North which had already moved on to cold printing. But nowadays, audiovisual technology in the South can no longer delay moving from analogue to digital signals, without the risk of being excluded from all communication, not only with the rest of the world, but also with the risk of being cut off from all audiences at home, within the same country, because a supply of digital equipment is flooding the country, and is favouring globalization and the liberalization of crossborder trade of all goods, including communications equipment. In short, learning about communication is increasingly defined by the threshold of learning about technology. This new paradigm must therefore govern all reflection on developing journalism and communication educational curricula and upgrading modules.

3. Issues of the «Information Society»

The challenge that these technologies pose for learning and upgrading skills in journalism, and naturally, the teaching of these materials is in fact a challenge that exceeds the mandate of the educational institutions and the media themselves. As we know, and as was greatly demonstrated and commented upon by governments, civil societies and private operators during WSIS (2003-05), this challenge has been set before all cultures and all their teaching and learning tools in all areas of human knowledge. The «information society» as the future in motion for all humanity, with its immeasurable diversity, calls for a revolution in the contents, forms and teaching methods in all areas of knowledge, in all occupations and professions such that, with regard to journalism, which is much more involved with these new information and communication technologies, the challenge is global and systemic, and demands that contents, forms and practices of what is taught to learners in the area be radically reengineered. It could even be said in this regard that the teaching of journalism and communication has inherited a position which, from now on, will be crucial and decisive in the project for tomorrow’s «information society».

Never have the media and communications had to take this type of position and play this type of role in the future and development of societies, their cultures and economies alike. For example, it is now a known reality that this sector can generate nearly half or more of the wealth of certain so-called «info-rich countries». In the «info-poor countries» of the South, we are witnessing a rampant monopoly of these technologies in the so-called «informal» economic sector which, in a good number of these countries, occupies most young people, who are often unemployed, often with diplomas or school drop-outs. In Dakar, Casablanca, Cape Town or Cairo, it may well happen that a journalism instructor, a journalist or journalism student is required to turn to a nearly illiterate youth, who is self-taught in ICT, to solve a computer connection problem, problems related to a pirated digital satellite signal or code conversion of language platforms from different origins.

The paradox is instructive: technological know-how can be acquired elsewhere than in schools, without teachers with degrees, without academically validated instruction, and still be useful, productive and generate content and wealth! Now an ordinary citizen can have professional ICT know-how! In the big cities of some countries of the South, «electronic flea markets» are being created to deal in ICTs, cell phones, satellite and digital television; they are being presided over with flair and resourcefulness by these young people that have been marginalized by the education system. They are in Casablanca (the Derb Ghallef market), in Dakar (Colobane market), in Niamey (Katako market and the Central market), in Conakry (Madina market), etc.

Compared to these informal schools, what will remain for the journalism schools, the journalist’s professional development centre, and their teachers if the teachers are no longer the first disseminators of knowledge, practical applications and resourcefulness in the area of communication and its tools and technologies?!

Besides, it is now well established that educational and training institutions, and the media themselves, are equally faced with the decline of their domination and exclusive legitimacy in the dissemination of communication knowledge and practices, vis-à-vis cyberspace. The blogosphere that this new universal space nurtures and develops among ordinary citizens, whether or not they understand the rules of journalism, sometimes even using rudimentary language which despite everything, enables them to deliver their messages and even to shake up the news scene, political elites and even justice... In the Arab and African worlds, for example, there are increasing numbers of blogs: they’re the talk of the town with scoops (that are often reprehensible from the professional and ethical perspective). The blogs incur the wrath of political stakeholders, lobbies and courts, which often sentence the bloggers to imprisonment –thought to have been the exclusive «privilege» of veteran professional journalists! Countless bloggers and internet users have been troubled by their countries’ authorities, or punished to greater or lesser degrees by the courts in Morocco, Mauritania, Algeria, Tunisia, Senegal, Niger, Syria, Egypt, Jordan…

When all is said and done, the practice of journalism stemming in principle from standardized learning through recognized programmes, finds itself, with this new technology situation and the broad and universal access it permits, outside the walls of schools and university faculties, in the core of the city and everyday key activities: political, economic, social, cultural, normative and ethical activities... It is therefore impossible to ignore this conclusion: in the end, learning journalism has an impact on collective life from the fact that the media-based act has earned a deciding place in the city and thus in governance and «living together». This is testified by the role these technologies play in the world terrorism phenomenon against which the entire international community is mobilized. From this perspective, journalism schools and the continuing education centres for professionals are more than ever concerned by government policies, and likewise, by the other stakeholders who participate in the emergence of the information society, namely, the media (public and private) and civil society, that is to say, ultimately, the citizen.

This relevance or importance of journalists and the media for the government explains public policies that are increasingly elaborate and widespread, which aim to introduce media literacy education starting in elementary school. The media are a source of knowledge, a tool for development, a citizenship matrix, a source of civicmindedness, construction of the «social being», construction of peace… But there is a fundamental area where the journalism school has everything for inspiring and influencing public policy: its own domain, the domain of expression in general and expression through the means of communication, traditional and new media, or ICTs. The specific issue here, in addition to the global societal issues already alluded to, is the advent of the «information society» which is in motion in cyberspace, under digital rule, on a planet-wide scale and which is expected to anchor the values of democracy and citizenship that this credo proclaims for all peoples.

4. The Teaching of Journalism: An Issue Left out of the World Summit (WSIS)

During WSIS (2003-05), media professionals and world civil society organizations regretted and condemned the fact that the organizers had only given them a minor part in the formal discussions and the various round tables on internet governance. This absence of the main players involved, namely, the media and media professionals, from the group that was given responsibility by the United Nations Secretary General to study the governance of the internet is symptomatic and impairs from the outset the international community’s opportunities to inaugurate a fair and equitable communication order within the information society that is developing around the world and which involves all citizens, media audiences, media and ICT users! As for the schools and instructors, they simply were not visible in the Summit’s corridors or around its debate and discussion tables, although the state of affairs of training (somewhat present however during this summit through the researchers and academic theorists) is central to internet governance, at least from the critical and ethical perspective3.

There is no choice but to observe that, more than five years after Geneva (2003), only some regional organizations, outside the UN system (like EuroMed) or certain civil society groups like the Centre de Protection des Journalistes (CPJ) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), are interested in the issue of media teaching, training and literacy. It should be noted, however, that the UN agency responsible for culture and education, UNESCO, got in depth reflection going by experts on the matter very early on, when Round 1 of WSIS was being planned. It should be pointed out first of all that this quality expertise led, for example in 2007, to determining a model programme, a list of evaluation criteria, and the designation of centres of excellence in Africa4.

There is all the more reason why this significant trail-blazing effort by UNESCO should be pointed out, as this organization was not given the place it deserved and claimed in the WSIS content work and preparations. Because everyone remembers that questions about infrastructure, equipment, funding and incentive training for private operators regarding government prerogatives largely dominated the Summit in Geneva, often to the detriment of debates on the complexity and diversity of contents. Civil society, often encouraged by UNESCO’s motivation and involvement, was, certainly, able to lead round tables and debates on this matter, especially in Tunis (2005), but for all that, without subsequent or adequate impact on the texts finally approved by the government (the Summit Declaration of Principles and the Plan of Action)…

Apart from an indirect mention of media literacy education in points C9 and C10 of the WSIS Plan of Action, from the perspective of ethics and the purposes of ICT uses, no reflection on ICT content, whether as diagnosis or as prospective, was able to be carried out nor clearly retained in this summit’s recommendations and findings. Now, no reflection on the future of the information society can be conducted without seriously addressing the matter of training the human resources, i.e. the effect that education has on the media. Such a reflection must place journalism instruction and media literacy at the foundations of this issue, for the benefit of the professionals and their audiences. Essentially, the role and place of educational institutions in the media scene and in the future of these fields, depending on the countries and contexts, and in compliance with national strategies that the governments have undertaken to respect and agreed to deploy in the strategic overview outlined by WSIS are some of the issues that should be covered in this reflection. Accordingly, never have the educational institutions and their practices been so tied to the future of the media and communication scene, at the national, regional and world levels alike.

Well before WSIS, these institutions already had influence on these scenes with regard to professional profiles, choices and options by media companies, related to contents and equipment, as well as to public policy in certain countries. This is particularly true in public journalism educational institutions which dominate this training sector in the countries in the South even though they are not the only ones responsible for it, because in these countries there are few structures dedicated to ongoing training or professional upgrading, and it is even rarer still to find permanent units with these types of objectives within media sector businesses. This continuing education obligation has not yet emerged as a standard, permanent and consistent claim among professionals, or as a confirmed commitment on the part of employers. It must also be borne in mind that there is little outreach in these countries between the professional media world and the world of media education and training, meaning media literacy education encompassing the broadest range including the training of future journalists in institutions and faculties, skills upgrading for professionals, and the various types of instruction that could benefit ordinary citizens.

This deficiency should be analyzed and addressed at many levels by various means. But it remains without the shadow of a doubt, in the Arab world in particular and the African world in general, that the origin of this deficiency should be sought in these institutions’ government status, which is marked by bureaucratic routine, endless reproduction of the same models and little tendency to reform. This state of affairs explains, for example, the great backwardness, indeed, the failure of universities in these countries. Universities, which by their place and symbolism in the world of education and learning in general, necessarily have an impact on the approaches and practices of every other stakeholder delivering any other targeted, professional training. This situation is more specifically the result of two major dysfunctions: one with regard to training and the second with regard to learning content.

5. The Necessary Symbiosis between the Instructor and the Professional

Regarding human resources, public journalism educational institutions inherit deficiencies from the universities in these countries of the South. Primarily lacking, if not non existent, are programmes and incentives in the area of professional development and skills upgrading for instructors. The university instructor in these countries is essentially a civil servant like any other, which is to say, in general, a bureaucrat. He endlessly does the same tasks until retirement and has a stable job while he also seeks not to cause any other expense to the government in addition to his salary. In other words, nearly systematically, the journalism and communication instructor is perceived and managed by his administration –the government– in the same way that the philosophy, literature or constitutional law instructor is. No consideration to speak of is accorded to the evolutionary nature of his subject, to the unending tidal wave of new information and communication technologies and their transfer to teaching in the form of educational content and practical applications.In addition, the instructor in these institutions is also under-motivated in the area of research and the very specific, expensive and demanding contents in terms of follow-up and skills upgrading –in other words, reform. In the Arab universities, research is nearly insignificant, forgotten/ neglected by these institutions’ only funding agency: the State. And yet, research is not only the right path for keeping abreast of knowledge and tools in this area, but also for applying new approaches to it with regard to training content and teaching processes that must adapt as new technologies and innovations evolve.

During the second round of WSIS in Tunis (2005), on the occasion of a forum organized by UNESCO about the UNESCO Chairs, regarding the Arab university and its use of ICTs, tools that are omnipresent in the field of communication, it was pointed out that: «For the last twenty years, the Arab post-secondary education system has been in a constant state of reforms, both major and minor, one after another, occurring in such a way that no country in the region has been able to benefit from the positive elements that a stable system allows in its choices and practice traditions for years on end, offering the benefits of a rooted institutionalization and an accumulation of tested practices, canons and codes of conduct, and relations with society, particularly in the area of research which interests us here, especially in relation to use of ICTs… From a pedagogical perspective and the knowledge content circulating within the university, we note that content and methods that do not incorporate ICTs still primarily dominate; that ICTs are not integrated often except in certain disciplines (some physical sciences, journalism, architecture, marketing and advertising) and that e-learning is an «adventure» that very few Arab universities allow themselves and not always with the necessary creativity or regularity. Moreover, another significant obstacle experienced by Arab universities, starting with the faculty chairs, can be connected to the reason why e-learning and distance learning in general are used so infrequently: the lack of research, standards, automated solutions and protocols necessary for the Arabic language to adapt to ICTs and make full use of all the opportunities, following the example of the two or three other high-performance languages in the world… Another handicap on which light is rarely shed though it is manifest in the Arab reality: there are still many, if not an overwhelming majority in certain countries, university instructors –potentially researchers– whose training has not incorporated ICTs. This is not solely a generational problem but also the problem of a system that does not adequately update its instructors’ profiles and promotions in this regard, and also a problem of willingness both on the part of the instructor and his university: the former does not wish to undertake learning ICTs and the latter does not push him and does not systematically help him in this direction»5.

The reference to distance learning must be noted here, as it is a highly consistent and effective means for providing skills upgrading opportunities for media professionals as well as media education for communities or groups of citizens. The university, by virtue of its prestige and reference expertise, certainly has a role to play, if not a determining role, in the spread and perfecting of e-learning among all stakeholders whatsoever involved in delivering educational content, to professionals, for example, as well as to citizens wishing to use the media-school and university students, community media, internet users, bloggers, etc.

Furthermore, due to the thinness and weakness of the media scenes in countries in the South, and their bureaucratic natures, journalism instructors rarely have symbiotic relationships with the professional media world. The institutions, which employ them on academic and government administration-type criteria (holding a doctorate), are usually incapable of providing their tenured professors and students the benefit of what professionals can contribute, through courses, workshops or ad hoc collaboration in practical applications. This means that the professional is rarely involved with allowing these institutions to benefit from his experience and raising its awareness to the expectations and demands of the professional world. The result is that the instructor with degrees is for all practical purposes, cut out of the professional milieu, condemned to delivering to his journalism students, know-how that has been made obsolete by the practices in the field, outside the school… Over time, this gap diminishes the institution’s credibility and supposed ability to attract journalism candidates, and by the same token, professionals seeking to upgrade their skills. One of the harmful consequences for the media field in general is often the anarchical and illegitimate occupation of this journalism and communication training niche by private companies that will use every marketing and public relations business trick to claim that they are offering more «practical» training, in sync with the profession’s reality in the field. There is first and foremost concern that in these types of private schools, the students are encountering and listening to professionals who, apart from their profession, have neither the vocation nor the ability to be teachers. At the end of this type of, frankly, «cut-rate» private training, which nonetheless is quite costly for students’ parents, the national scene inherits cohorts of journalists with training that is dubious, incomplete and highly deficient in professionalism, and consequently, in ethics and ethical behaviour. This is increasingly borne out and routine in countries like Morocco, Jordan, Tunisia, Lebanon, Senegal, the Ivory Coast, Mauritania, etc.

It is also appropriate to notice that the harmful gap in training that is taking hold between instructors and professionals can be explained in part, by the instructor’s educational profile, as often, the instructor in this type of institution is recruited on thebasis of advanced university degrees, and has not had, at the same time, a career in the profession. In Morocco and Tunisia, for example, the oldest and most renowned institutions in Maghreb and Sub-Saharan Sahel, you can count on your fingers the professors who also have solid media experience. In short, various basic data, inherent to the university situation and its procedures and practices, compete in the countries of the South, ultimately, to create this divide between the public institution and the media sector, between the instructors and the professional journalists, and between the professional journalists and their audiences. For its part, the private institution, which is often inferior to the university, generates profiles that are highly deficient in serious, solid training for professionalism and «citizen journalism» or «emancipation journalism», which the media in these countries have a fundamental need for to be able to enjoy a media scene that promotes modernity and democracy.

6. Conclusion: A Strategic Vision for «Citizen Journalism»

What should be blamed in this regard in these academic institutions, as much as in most professional skills upgrading structures and ad hoc citizen media literacy modules (both quite rare in countries of the South), is the absence of an instructional project that is participatory, in other words, open to the media, media professionals, and their audiences; open to the absolute necessity of instructors periodically being immersed in professional media environments for purposes of upgrading their skills. The educator’s pedagogical training in media literacy must therefore be designed to be quite flexible, able to constantly reform itself to follow the frenzied evolution of needs, expectations, tools and practices of the media, media professionals and citizens in general, as best and as quickly as possible. Naturally, this requires incorporating very specific curricula and training modules, that are open to this requisite flexibility, and mindful of being interactive with appropriate policies in the field at all levels: content production, choice and use of technology, media objectives in terms of target audiences and aspirations that are in sync with a vision for a society that promotes democratic and citizen participation values, like the «information society» project. The foundations of this type of curricula and training must be characterized by awareness and flexibility. They need to be attuned to technological innovation, to professionals and their practices, citizens’ practices, social transformations that these habitual practices induce and delineate in the present and for the future of the citizen and society in general. They also need to be attuned to research and theories related to pedagogical applications to be able ultimately to deliver this knowledge and knowhow in a way that is efficient, modern, participatory and inclusive. The ultimate objective is to provide a media education that leads to the emergence of an «emancipation journalism», an alternate journalism intended for the citizens and not consumers of information which is, unfortunately, in the North and South alike, most often superficial, without background, and voluntarily chosen and dealt with for its entertainment or sensational content. From this standpoint, a large portion of media education will consist of delivering and producing «citizen journalism» and therefore of designing media education that assigns to the media at least four functions in countries in the South:

• To collaborate and participate in promoting the ideals and objectives of development, strengthening public interest.

• To fulfil the traditional role of «watch dog» for monitoring governance; to be open to, with inquiry and critical approach, bodies of citizen representation (parliament, local elites, etc.).

• To help with the creation and consolidation of public debate between the State or its institutions (government, parliament) and citizens by informing citizens completely and responsibly so that they are able to fully benefit from their role as citizens and so that they make substantiated and well-informed decisions.

• To act as a critical and objective leader of democratic debate and not as a biased party to this debate, so that the values of independence, diversity, pluralism and tolerance are fundamentally respected.

«Citizen journalism» of this type must also take advantage of the opportunities offered by ICTs for expanding the «public forum» so that the maximum number of citizens (internet users, bloggers, «community media citizen journalists», minorities, etc.) dialogue, exchange and participate more in public life and the development of their society through cyberspace and the blogosphere. This will also reduce the omnipresence of authorized channels and their flow of information which is not very open to interactivity, as well as the «digital divide» and the «digital solitude» that ICTs establish by isolating the individual in front of his satellite television screen or computer connected to the internet. Such is the full meaning of a media education that promotes «public or citizen journalism»: «When public journalism is effective, it leaves something behind –a conversational effect, at the least, and, at best, an ongoing structure for citizen engagement»6.

To develop this type of media education content for various target audiences, from journalism students to citizens, by way of the professionals, it is absolutely necessary that content be flexible and constantly open to innovations in tools and practices, open to the professionals and their contributions of expertise, open to the ideas and ambitions of instructors and researchers, open to the brainwaves and uses of citizens who are media and ICT-savvy. This requires academic freedom which must be encouraged by educational institutions’ decision makers. In this area, the instructor is increasingly learning from his students, and will perform at a higher level if he considers the renewal of his skills and strategies that he gains from egalitarian exchanges with his students. The teaching process must therefore also become «grassroots», that is, open to the student’s contribution and participation. This type of process assumes a fundamental strategic pedagogical vision that must essentially rest on the need to change the way of looking at the teaching of journalism and media education. We are no longer in a classroom where the professor lectures; we are now in a laboratory where a work and research leader/coordinator leads and regulates and has the great responsibility of properly validating new practices and communication technology innovations in order not to be sanctioned by having his product rejected in the employment market nor to be lost by the evolution of phenomena. These phenomena shape, shake and nurture a society that from now on is more open than ever to access to the world of media thanks to ICTs and the internet. But at the foundation of the institution’s and instructors’ aspirations there must be voluntarism, on the part of all stakeholders in the pedagogical act, with regard to media policies and decision-makers. They need to face the challenges communication technologies place before society as well as the reservations and traditions rooted in professional environments and, by the same token, the reluctance of citizens who have been kept well away, for far too long, from access to, and use of, the media.

Notes

1 To refer to the 2003 WSIS Geneva Declaration of Principles (www.itu.int/wsis/docs/geneva/official/ dop-fr.html) (re-read in particular point B4 of this declaration pertaining to «Capacity Building»).

2 «Connecting Knowledge in Communications: New Partnerships in Communication For the 21st Century: Strategies For Governance, Technology, Employment and Lifelong Learning. Proceedings of the international conference: April 14-17, 1999, Montreal, Canada. Editors: Claude-Yves Charron, Maria Camila Chica, Sheryl N. Hamilton; translation, Anne-Karine Brodeur. Montreal: Orbicom, International Network of UNESCO Chairs in Communications, International Secretariat [1999]. French, English and Spanish versions. (www.orbicom.ca).

3 In 2007, a symposium of international experts in Strasbourg studied the «ethical dimensions of the information society» by reference to point C10 of the Plan of Action adopted by the Geneva Summit (C10: The Information Society should be subject to universally held values and promote the common good and to prevent abusive uses of ICTs.) This symposium (June 14-15, 2007) was organized at the initiative of the Centre d’études et de recherches interdisciplinaires sur les médias en Europe (CERIME) of the Université Robert Schuman and the UNESCO/Orbicom Chair «Pratiques journalistiques et médiatiques» [journalism and Media Practices] of the Université R. Schuman. Proceedings of the symposium are in printing. (www.-urs.u-strasbg.fr) (www-cerime.u-strasbg.fr).

4 «Criteria and Indicators for Quality Journalism, Training Institutions and Identifying Potential Centres of Excellence in journalism Training in Africa». (2007). UNESCO’s Series on journalism education by Prof. Guy Berger and Corinne Matras in association with The School of Journalism and Media Studies, Rhodes University, South Africa and École Supérieure de Journalisme de Lille (ESJ). Paris: UNESCO; 56. (www.unesco.org).

5 UNESCO at the World Summit on the Information Society, The Round Table on «The Role of UNESCO in the Construction of Knowledge Societies Through UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Programme», Proceedings. Tunis 16-18 November 2005. Paris: UNESCO. (www.unesco.org/education).

6 Austin, L. (2002). «Public Journalism in the Newsroom: Putting the Ideas into Play». www.impd.org/ artman/publish/printer_87.shtml.