Integrated Journalism in Europe (IJIE) is a Lifelong Learning Programme Project linked to the changes in the European higher education curriculum and global media changes. Once detected, this project looks to implement these communication changes in the classroom, to extend this experience to the European citizens trough the future journalists. In a changing landscape, both media and universities have to adapt to the new reality of media convergence and transmedia. Therefore, this project promotes four basic factors to consider in journalism education today: the convergence of media, the relationship between universities / business, professional simulation and the internationalization of the teaching.
In a changing media landscape, the IJIE project aims to innovate trough a cooperation between European universities, academia and companies. This cooperation will materialize in a partnership in education and professionalism, and also in the pursuit of innovation and European leadership. In fact the project aims to foster excellence and innovation in European universities with activities that improve education, research and innovation methods. This European project wants to share, adapt and export the teaching innovation project “integrated journalism”, a successful educational initiative launched by the Pompeu Fabra University in 2011.
The key objectives of the project are:
- Develop methods for the convergence of media.
- Internationalize universities by activating an online platform to create a Journalism Student Network of Correspondents, in order to publish works from one University to another EU University media outlet.
- Provide proposals for a true simulation training in college.
- Propose different integrated journalism models for different universities and companies.
- Achieve greater business involvement at college level.
- Develop a pedagogical methodology, that enhaces new skills for journalists, such as ICT, language, ethics and intercultural skills (EUROMAIN).
- Develop educational materials to promote the integrated newsroom model. This will involve:
- Organizing a conference on media convergence, globalization and collaboration companies /universities.
- Publishing and disseminating the results in prestigious journals.
- Publishing a book with the experiences and results.
- Maintain and promote a network between European universities.
There are also secondary objectives related with the project:
- Complete and analyze a European database with the universities offering journalism studies
- Identify the different models of journalism at universities in Europe
- Giving a new service to the Erasmus student through the network generated by the integrated newsroom between European universities.
The consortium works by combined management (project coordinator and local coordinators). Each member is assigned a role and a task accordance to the competence and capacity of each partner to execute the job in hand.
Universitat Pompeu Fabra(UPF), as the coordinating institution, undertakes the overall management of the project covering administrative issues, monitoring the global progress of the project and the coordination of the partners’ activities. The leaders for the work packages of the project are the following: European Journalism database (UPF), Conceptual Framework (Université Paris 8), Off-line pedagogical (Danish School of Media and Journalism), Online platform (Babes-Bolyai Universityand Universitat Pompeu Fabra), Pilot week (Universitat Pompeu Fabra), Quality Check (Linnaeus University), Dissemination and Exploitation (all partners).
The tasks and events related with the IJIE project are the following:
- Initial meeting to discuss plan of action, conceptual framework and pedagogical methodology, evaluation plan and exploitation (month 1).
- Finish and analyze European journalists’ universities database (month 1 to 5).
- Draw conclusions and catalogue the different models of journalism education in European universities (month 1 to 5).
- Create different integrated journalism proposals for different universities models (month 3 to 17).
- Create a ten-tip guide to implement different integrated journalism proposals for different university models (month 3 to 17).
- Prepare a guide for the physical space of work at different university models to achieve real editorial convergence and to provide true simulation training in college and create a pedagogical methodology to obtain new skills related to media integration, language, ICT and intercultural communication (EUROMAIN) (month 3 to 17).
- Create a platform (EUROMAIN) for a web that allows for the connection between the universities and their students to become the reporters/correspondents of the various universities and projects (months 10 to 21).
- Promote a Journalism Student Network of Correspondents through an online platform, in order to work in a collaborative way between universities (weeks 5 to 31).
- Start a pilot test at the editorial department of the participating universities. All universities will participate in an integrated workshop to be held for a week at UPF. All together will test the online network and the proposed lesson plan (week 27).
- Organize a conference on media convergence, e-learning and innovation in journalism.
- Exploitation (week 5 to the end of project and even later) by: publishing and disseminating the results in prestigious journals and publishing a book with the experiences and results.
European Added Value
The IJIE project has a European dimension because it promotes the participation and collaboration between many European universities and companies. The project includes specifications on education in Europe and poses a major project based on pillars driven into the new European educational commitment.
The project will create and strengthen a European interuniversity and company network. Moreover, it will help developing new conscience on European citizens as students will work providing exposure to linguistic and cultural elements from other countries. The on-line platform EUROMAIN addresses at first 7 EU target languages, but it might be later easily adapted to many other languages. Also by promoting a collaborative way of work, people from different countries will find a common place to share experiences and cultural knowledge in order to fight prejudices and xenophobia practices. Any university in the EU that wishes to teach and innovate in journalism education with this integrated journalism workshop could profit, participate and use the results of the project.
Institutions from six European countries will work together with their educational and professional expertise. Also students from these universities in different countries with different educational policies and different needs will provide their field knowledge and practical observations in the process of journalism and its use in journalism education.
Furthermore, the project aims at providing a technical European system that can be used to learn and teach in any European country and university through the future technical infrastructure (web, network, EUROMAIN).
By disseminating the project and sharing the results, this proposal hopes to improve the current situation in journalism education in several European countries.
Finally, as the target are future journalists, by improving with this short term innovative pedagogical approach that helps developing an intercultural collaborative way at work, we might expect that in long term, as they become media reporters and are able to communicate to the public. Such impressions and European belonging will be transferred to the general citizenship.