Teaching Journalism in the Age of Social Media

TitleTeaching Journalism in the Age of Social Media
Publication TypeConference Paper
Author(s)Barnes, C. I.
Affiliation (1st Author)University of the West Indies
Section or WGJournalism Research and Education Section
DateWed 26 June
Slot CodeJRE W3c
Slot Code (Keyword)JRE W3c
Time of Session14:00-15:30
Session TitleJournalism & Power: New Actors & New Voices Theme III: Professional Journalism
Submission ID6901

The University of the West Indies is a regional institution that was established in 1948 with the sole purpose of providing tertiary level education to those students who completed secondary level and matriculated to tertiary level, but had to leave the Caribbean islands in order undertake any such study. When the University first opened its doors it offered only a degree in the medical sciences. Today, 64 years later, this University is outfitted with several faculties, including the Faculty of Humanities and Education, Social Sciences, Science and Technology and Law. The Department of Media and Communication is located within the Faculty of Humanities and Education and is the fastest growing department within this Faculty. The programmes in this department have also evolved from when it first opened its doors in 1974. At that time there was a handful of of students, some of whom were employed to media houses throughout the Caribbean, but had received training on the job. These were mainly older adults who were looking for certification. These first students were able to read for the Diploma in Media and Communication. The department now offers programmes up to the PhD level. At the undergraduate level students can read for the Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism, Integrated Marketing Communication and Digital Media Production. As the programmes have evolved, so too have the methods of delivery. Many lecturers have embraced social media and have incorporated this recent phenomenon in their teaching. Some are also taking cognisance of the impact of what is widely known as citizen journalism on traditional journalism and this has affected the way their courses are delivered. Others, however have been reluctant to recognise the validity of this approach and have continued on the traditional path. How do lecturers incorporate social media in their teaching? To what extent has this new approach worked? What results are lecturers who have taken this approach seeing? How do students view this new approach to teaching journalism? How do students view the future of traditional journalism in the face of the widely popular citizen journalism? Using the emergence of this new phenomenon and the conceptual framework of new media theorists, such as Burke (2007), Glaser (2006) and Gilmor (2004), and a mixed methods approach to data collection, this paper seeks to answer these and other questions.

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