E. Martens-Edwards, C. Schmidt

Deutsche Welle Akademie (GERMANY)
The primary aim of the research project “International Journalism Education Standards” (IJES) is to assess international standards and practices of journalism education in developing and transformation countries. The study is conducted by Deutsche Welle Akademie, Deutsche Welle's centre for international journalism training and media development cooperation in Bonn, Germany.

The state of research in the field of journalism education can be considered nation-centred. Existing studies focus on journalism education in specific - often industrialised countries and regions - rather than allowing for a global perspective. The project will fill a research gap in the field of international journalism studies and global education research by comparing journalism education standards and methods of less developed countries.

The research objective is to identify transnational similarities and differences of standards and practices in journalistic education while considering contextual influencing factors on the micro-, meso- and macro-level. To allow for comparative data analysis, standardised sampling methods, questionnaires and evaluation schemes are applied. Data will be generated based on a mixed-methods approach using both qualitative and quantitative instruments of data collection and analysis.

Research will be conducted in four developing countries in different world regions. Kenya, Myanmar, Columbia and the Ukraine have been selected as national case studies representing a so-called matching sample. All four countries can be called developing countries given their low socio-economic development, but also in respect to the prevalence of human rights issues and significant restrictions of press freedom. Furthermore, the political systems of all four countries represent different parliamentarian models which can be considered more or less democratic. The selected countries are also comparable in size regarding the number of inhabitants.

Half-standardised focus interviews with 8 to 10 experts in the field of journalism education will be conducted in the four countries. Interviewees will be experts in the journalism education field representing a variety of academic and non-academic, public and private institutions. Interview transcripts will be analysed using qualitative content analysis. In addition to the first-hand data collection, the researchers will conduct secondary research of existing studies and provide national case studies including a thorough analysis of the political, historical, socio-economic context as well as the media and education system.

The quantitative component of the study will consist of a large-scale online survey aimed at young journalists who have recently completed various forms of journalism education in one of the four selected countries. Apart from directly contacting relevant junior journalists through the DW Akademie database as well as the networks of its partner institutions, the survey will be distributed amongst local institutions of journalism education such as training centres, NGOs, colleges, universities, journalism associations and unions.