TITLE

Lessons in Teaching Foreign Journalists

AUTHOR(S)
Aumente, Jerome
PUB. DATE
June 2005
SOURCE
Nieman Reports;Summer2005, Vol. 59 Issue 2, p84
SOURCE TYPE
Periodical
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
This article presents the author's experience in training foreign journalists. After the 1989 collapse of Communism in Poland, I was in Warsaw planning training programs to assist journalists when a respected Polish journalist advised me not to just teach new skills but to change attitudes. Teaching practical reporting and editing skills would be important, but what this person urged me to focus on was getting reporters to abandon their ingrained habit of printing official government releases unchallenged. They needed to learn tougher interviewing techniques and acquire the skills needed to do enterprise and investigative reporting. For Americans to teach journalism successfully in other countries requires them to step back and challenge their own assumptions about journalism training rather than attempt to retrofit a particular curricula. Instead what is taught must be tailored to the external circumstances involved with fragile emergent economies and transitional democracies. What we learned from our experience in Poland has important implications as the climate for independent news media improves with governmental changes being brought about through wars, revolution or electoral transition. Coupled with the communication and information-swapping tools of the Internet and the newer multimedia environment, it is an opportune time to learn from our successes and from our mistakes, as more opportunities for such training open up in Arab and Islamic nations, as well as in Asia and Africa. INSETS: Strategies for Training International Journalists;Support for International Journalism Training.
ACCESSION #
17526005

 

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