Irene da Rocha, Christopher Tulloch and Ariadna Fernández recently gave a paper entitled “The teaching of media convergence in Spanish universities: mapping the current situation” at the conference of the Asociación Española de Investigadores de la Comunicación (AEIC), held at the University of the Basque Country.
At the round table session dedicated to “Journalism and Digital Culture”, Da Rocha, Tulloch and Fernández, from the UPF, made it clear that those involved in the teaching of journalism have to face the challenge of adapting its curriculum to the new dynamics of media convergence and demand greater research regarding the teaching of media convergence in the classroom. According to the three IJIE researchers, the changing communicative scenario requires a response from the university to be able to meet demands in the workplace. Before a specialized public, the IJIE researchers outlined how this newsroom integration and media convergence is being taught within Journalism faculties in Spain.
Their preliminary results show that, despite some pioneering experiences, the Spanish university has still not adapted itself to the everyday dynamics of the profession. In the majority of cases, this challenge is met from a highly theoretical standpoint and as a branch of cyberjournalism. As part of this study, and in conjunction with all the IJIE partners, Da Rocha, Tulloch and Fernández explained that the curriculum of 36 Spanish universities offering journalism has been analysed and that in-depth interviews with experts in media convergence, journalism teaching staff and media professionals have also been carried out.
Da Rocha, Tulloch and Fernández were joined at the table by Hibai López, fellow researcher at the UPF, who presented a paper on social media conversation in the Spanish sports press and Guillermina Franco and David Garcia from the Universidad Carlos III in Madrid who offered a complementary paper comparing citizens networks and alternative communication platforms with the mainstream press in the field of political communication and public opinion.
The AEIC Congress is the most important forum for communication research in Spain. This year, it was held from the 21st-24th of January, over 400 researchers participated and 250 academic papers were presented.