About Journalism in a Global Context
“Journalism in a Global Context” (JiGC) is an African-European project aimed at connecting journalists and journalism students in Africa and Europe, thus promoting the quality of foreign reporting in Europe and Africa in a crucial time of development for both continents.
The long-standing experience in media relations work by the Africa Positive organisation (www.africa-positive.de) spans across media coverage of the countries of the South in the Northern media or of countries of the North in the Southern media. It also include topics such as migration, causes of migration and integration which have been poignant in a largely undifferentiated manner. Very little (or very often the complete lack) of knowledge on topics such as globalization and its effects, the geopolitical strategies shaping our world, the everyday lives of people in countries of the South and, in some cases, poor intercultural competences seem to be the main reasons. Partnering with the Erich-Brost Institute (EBI) for International Journalism at the Technical University of Dortmund (brost.ifj.tu-dortmund.de), we seek to promote a balanced and high quality reporting on these subject-matters.
Goals and target groups
Journalism students at German and African universities today are the journalists and media makers of tomorrow. Today, professional journalists work within tight budgets and limited ressources in a rapidly changing media world.
Against this background, the concept “Journalism in a Global Context (JiGC)” was born. With this project, we are committed to the teaching of global learning issues in journalism and related study programs as well as in part-time continuing education. Students and journalists in Germany as well as in African countries would be supported to better understand world events and global relationships from different perspectives in their professional activities. These will afford them the opportunity to critically evaluate and analyze these dynamic issues. An example is understanding the effects of global political and economic links. Students will be made to grasp the life situation of people in the countries of the South as well as the actual causes of environmental problems and causes of flight as well as their effects on people and nations.
An important goal of “Journalism in a Global Context” is the sensitization of these connections in the journalism education. Global learning topics such as the impact of our consumption patterns on poorer countries, the exploitation of natural resources and the resulting environmental damage, corruption, sustainability, human rights and intercultural competence would be taught and incorporated into future reporting. The cooperation of African and German actors, involving JiGC, will change the perspective of the actors and their reporting on both sides.
Many Africans have the same misconception of life in Europe as Europeans have about life on the African continent – many Africans see Europe as a paradise where they want to live. The realities in Europe are beautifully spoken about, unsightly situations are masked out of perception or suppressed. This seems to be one of the main reasons why many young people are making their way to Europe despite the extremely fatal risk and dangers so far recorded.
Through the cooperation of Germans and Africans, JiGC aims at facilitating an intercultural dialogue so that the realities of life in Germany (Europe) and in the African countries are presented in a more balanced way.
Through JiGC, the African partners will report on their own experiences and perspectives with background knowledge about the impact of global events on their countries. This transfer of knowledge facilitates a fairly-thought out dialogue, because in this cooperation African journalists and students are experts on African topics, while German journalists and students are experts on German topics.
Expectations and sustainability
Communicating global learning topics to students and journalists should significantly improve the quality of reporting. Among other things, the following will be achieved:
- Acquiring skills for information gathering and information sharing: asking questions about globalization, properly assessing facts and learning to recognize and appreciate sociocultural diversity in our One World.
- Promoting the critical examination of development-policy issues.
- Enabling the analysis and assessment of the globalization and development process based on sustainable development models.
- Developing awareness of journalists’ influence on social perception.
Against this background, a change of perspective in the assessment of one’s own and others’ value orientations and their significance is not only reasonable but necessary.
JiGC is a joint project of Africa Positive in cooperation with the Erich-Brost Institute for International Journalism at the TU Dortmund and the African Media Initiative (AMI) Nairobi, Kenya. In addition, several universities and institutions on the African continent as well as in Germany are partnering.
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