Evolution and Trends in Teaching and Learning of Cyberjournalism

Evolution and Trends in Teaching and Learning of Cyberjournalism

Jesus Miguel Flores-Vivar (Complutense University of Madrid, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7074-5.ch016

Abstract

This chapter analyzes the formative aspects, trends, and initiatives that some faculties and schools are developing as an experimental part of a new educational ecosystem. It´s proposed to reflect on journalism, fundamentally, as a scientific discipline, whose teaching is endorsed and justified in the universities of world prestige where the realization of applied research of journalistic models with emerging technologies through medialabs is promoted. All this without prejudice to ethical principles, the use and contrast of sources, quality in writing and illustrations, created and produced in digital platforms and multimedia.
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Introduction: Current Contextualization Of Journalism

The evolutionary processes of society are demanding to the media more rigor and professionalism in their publications. The Technologies of Information and Communication (TIC) and, specifically, Internet and databases, which engulf the concept of “Big Data” and data journalism, provide a great ability to process, compare and analyze from a critical point of view all the welter of content of information.

It´s clear that we have entered an era of rapid change in all areas of information: from the sources to the public, from the traditional genres to new technologies. In the same time we attended to see how new media emerging, in a scenario where the protagonist is also the user as part of the emerging new audience. Blogs, wikis, applications for touch devices and social networks are giving way to a new communication model that revolutionizes the market paradigm of information and communication of the content industry.

In another order of ideas, transmedia storytelling, the mobile journalism, journalism and enterprise journalism data, all of them new journalism emerging environments, come to create a scenario where is necessary to propose and rebuild new training schemes in the faculties of communications. Those new journalism emerging environment doesn’t affect the essential concept of new journalism.

With over two century of existence, journalism has been impacted by the Technologies of Information and Communications and modifies their structures. First, journalism is not the job that inculcated us in the practical exercise where anyone, with studies or not, could exercise in this field. Journalism is not a refuge for all the persons, who having studies a field of knowledge and professionally dedicated to it, in their spare time they also devoted to the “office” of journalist. Journalism should stop being this refuge. It is time to establish end create professional associations that defend the interest of thousands of graduates in this area of communications that spent a lot of years learning in university classrooms. It is possible that a graduate in journalism, professionally exercised, could devote in their free time to the office of attorney knowing only some laws, or to the office of doctor reading only a guide? Obviously, the answer of this question is no. So, what happens with journalism? Perhaps, the time spent studying by the lawyers, psychologist, sociologist and architect is not the same?

When a field of knowledge is recognized as a scientific discipline, we talk about an indicator of progress and cultural development of a society. In this context, Medicine, that began as an empirical practice that reached its greater knowledge in universities classrooms to become what is represent today, is just one example of this progress (Flores, 2014). Obviously, we cannot compare medical science studies to studies of Journalism and Communications.

As says Abdul Waheed Khan (2007)1 in the foreword of the study titled “Model Curricula for Journalism Education”, journalism has become one of the pillars of democracy. This is a fact that nobody doubts it, in the same time that we cannot ignore them:

Journalism and educational programs that enable people to use and improve their journalistic skills are essential tools to support key democratic principles that are vital to the development of all countries. (UNESCO, 2007)

In this context, it should discuss the current state of journalism studies and, specifically, the adequacy of the training implanted in the Faculty of Communications or the Journalism Schools. In additions to this, we must start form the fact that journalism is not a job, it is a regulated profession such us for example the lawyer, sociologist, philosopher or psychologist. Many people persist to assign it as a job because they do not know that UNESCO2 has identified as a discipline of knowledge. In conclusion to this, it is necessary to adapt the “communicative recipe” of journalistic training to the paradigm shift as a result of the constant evolution of the Internet and other digital technologies. Contrary, we resign ourselves to get depressed. According to Felix Ortega (2013):3

Key Terms in this Chapter

MediaLabs: The objective of a MediaLab (multimedia lab) is to provide a confluence space for conducting training and production workshops, seminars, conferences, debates, concerts, meetings of different types of groups. The medialab centers are spaces for the open and collaborative exchange of ideas, knowledge, and experimentation processes through the means of documentation and communication provided by the center and optimized by the participants, also taking advantage of the best available means, such as the internet and the multimedia exchange.

Cyberjournalism: A form of journalism in which news is published on the internet or in cyberspace. Also, it is a term coined after the merging of various traditional media brought about by the proliferation of media industries due to current influx of new technology and globalization.

Data Journalism: Is a journalism specialty reflecting the increased role that numerical data is used in the production and distribution of information in the digital era. It reflects the increased interaction between content producers (journalist) and several other fields such as design, computer science, and statistics.

Applied Research: Applied research is a methodology used to solve a specific, practical problem of an individual or group. The study and research is used in business, medicine, and education in order to find solutions that may cure diseases, solve scientific problems, or develop technology.

Educational Ecosystem: An ecosystem can be described as a community network of interactions between organisms and their environment. Yes, this sounds like a slightly pompous way of describing networking, but what it highlights are the interactions that go to influence and nourish what actually happens in the classroom.

Technology Impact in Communication: Technology has improved communication. Communication is used for a number of purposes. Both society and organizations depend on communication to transfer information. People use technology to communicate with each other. Electronic media like radios, televisions, internet, social media have improved the way we exchange ideas which can develop our societies.

Technological Evolution: A theory that describes the radical transformation of society through technological development. This theory originated with Czech philosopher Radovan Richta.

Innovation Journalism: Is journalism that covers innovation processes and innovation (eco)systems. Innovation journalism is a form of journalism that cuts across the traditional story areas. Instead of just being limited to writing about one field or area (i.e., politics, technology, celebrity, or sports), innovation journalism covers the whole story. Where traditional journalism relies on silos, innovation journalism eliminates them. Where traditional journalism sees various areas as unrelated and disjointed, innovation journalism sees them as corresponding and united.

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