Journalism and experiential learning across cultures



The 5th World Journalism Education Congress, Paris, FRANCE, 2019.  “One journalism or many journalisms”? Connecting students with multiple conceptions and ways of working in journalism across the world. Abstract Journalism and experiential learning across culturesBased on a transnational research project, this paper discusses what is the role and effectiveness of experiential learning methodologies in the teaching of investigative journalism across cultures. One of the most prevalent issues regarding the content of the education of professional journalists has been the theory-practice division (Skinner et al, 2001). Academic literature argues for the place of journalism education in academia, but professional journalism cannot be taught without implementing practical skills. Therefore, it is of key importance to address the relevance of learning by doing as a central concept in curricula. This paper explores how journalism students perceive the learning outcome of investigative journalism courses that implement experiential learning methodologies, and how such students implement “investigative methods” when working as professional journalists. Drawing from Adam, S. (2001), it is of key importance that students can develop university-based skills, specifically in evidence gathering and fact assessment. Flourny (2007) has discussed how skills in investigative methods taught at university provided the students with motivation to study and enhanced the students’ desire to make a positive difference in society. Others (Yarnall et al, 2008) have investigated how journalism educators teach advanced Computer Assisted Reporting (CAR) data analysis in 33 nations. While Splendore et al (2016) studied and identified different approaches to the way data journalism is taught, based on a desk review and in-depth interviews with instructors of data journalism in six European countries. CAR and data journalism are some of many methods connected to and implemented in investigative journalism practice. Bacon (2011) suggests that global approaches can provide part of the intellectual underpinnings of investigative journalism in universities and explores possibilities for collaborative investigation across time and space and how these might connect to broader innovations in the field of journalism. But as Hallin  and Mancini (2004) demonstrate, different organisational frames, political systems and media logics influence the working conditions for media outlets and journalism practice. Consistently, this study focuses on two different investigative journalism courses offered in a Chilean and a Danish university to assess the effectiveness of experiential learning in different cultural contexts. In both investigative journalism courses, the students are offered various methodological and research approaches within investigative journalism, which provide the students with skills and mindsets that are required to be implemented in practical assignments that are of key relevance in the course. The research project will implement a mixed-method design, where qualitative interviews in both countries with undergraduate students taking the courses, and those who already took it, generate the main data for analysis; combined with a survey to a larger group of students in both countries. The analysis will focus on how the students, and former students, perceive the outcome of the learning experience in investigative journalism in relation to the media industry demands and working experience. Data will be collected in fall 2018 and spring 2019, and analysis will be executed continuously by two academics, one based in Europe and the other in South America. The analysis will also focus on how to transfer knowledge and teaching solutions across cultural and societal differences in a globalized environment. The project is grounded on the notion that sound journalism education contributes towards professional and ethical practice of journalism, and that professional journalism contributes to fostering democracy and dialogue in a global society. Therefore, it will be carried out with the support of the Erasmus+ Teacher exchange. Since this research is in progress we cannot include “discussion and conclusion”, as required in the call for abstracts, but it is possible to anticipate that the findings will suggest that experiential learning is a successful teaching methodology across countries. As an exploratory research, the study could be replicated in more countries from different continents. . BibliographyAdam, S. (2001) The education of Journalism. Journalism 2 (3) pp. 315-339Bacon, W. (2011) Investigative Journalism in the Academy - Possibilities for Storytelling across Time and Space. Pacific Journalism Review 17 (1) pp. 45-66.Flournoy, C. (2007) Doing Learning: Investigative Reporting and Service Learning. Journalism & Mass Communication Educator, 62 (1) pp. 47-61Hallin, DC. and Mancini, P. (2004) Comparing Media Systems: Three Models of Media and Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Skinner, D; Gasher, M; Compton, J. (2001) Putting theory to practice. A critical approach to journalism studies. Sage Journals. Volume: 2 issue: 3, page(s): 341-360 Splendore, S., Di Saviao, P., Eberwein, T., Groenhart, H., Kus, M., Porlezza, C. (2016) Educational strategies in data journalism: A comparative study of six European countries. Journalism, 17 (1), pp 138-152.Yarnall, L., Johnson, JT., Rinne, L. et al. (2008) How post-secondary journalism educators teach advanced CAR data analysis skills in the digital age. Journalism & Mass CommunicationEducator 63 (2), pp. 146–164.
Effektiv start/slut dato20/09/1831/12/19


  • Medier, kommunikation og sprog
  • journalistik
  • undersøgende journalistik
  • forskning
  • undrvisning
  • praksisforankring