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J. Hök

Södertörn University Stockholm (SWEDEN)
This paper is looking into efforts made to introduce local-global connections during the last two years within the journalist programs at Södertörn University, Stockholm.
New Information Technology has had wide impact on the development of mass media and journalism in all societies. Technical multimedia skills are today central to advanced journalism education at universities. Södertörn University in Stockholm was a pioneer in introducing multimedia journalism when the University was founded 15 years ago.

Globalization has in that sense colored journalism programs at Södertörn University and made multi media journalism one of the most popular journalism programs in Sweden. But knowledge about globalization and skills in covering the phenomena is lagging behind in journalism education in general Sweden and so also at Södertörn University. The courses are predominantly national with few exceptions.

International news coverage of stories outside the home country is thus seldom a part of the training for students in journalism, even so at advanced levels. But this can be changed. The challenge is to use local knowledge and skills that is already there, inexpensive and in reach.

The first step is to cover several aspects of social changes connected to globalization in the student’s home town, for example changes connected to work places, production, communications and education. This can be done a short while after the student started in a journalist course.
The second step is to cover international organizations, institutions or companies active in the home town or region. This can easily be done within the first two semesters.

The third step is to go abroad to cover activities connected to step (1) or (2) in cooperation with local universities in other countries. This can be done within one or two years of the university program.

The fourth step is to work as a freelance writer covering individual stories abroad that are connected to globalization and related to everyday life in the home country. The last step is professional but can be a part of an exam for example if the student gets a scholarship or is allowed to work as a trainee.