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Journalism school

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Journalism school

A journalism school is a school or department, usually part of an established university, where journalists are trained. An increasingly used term for a journalism department, school or college is 'J-School'. Many of the most famous and respected journalists of the past and present had no formal training in journalism, but learned their craft on the job, often starting out as copy boys/copy girls. Today, in many parts of the world it is usual for journalists to first complete university-level training which incorporates both technical skills such as research skills, interviewing technique and shorthand and academic studies in media theory, cultural studies and ethics.

Historically, in the United Kingdom entrants used first to complete a non media-studies related degree course, giving maximum educational breadth, prior to taking a specialist postgraduate pre-entry course. However, this has changed over the last ten years with journalism training and education moving to higher educational institutions. There are now over 60 universities in the UK offering BA honours degrees in journalism. Postgraduate courses are more well-established, some of which are either recognised by the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) or the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ).


  • History 1
  • Top schools 2
    • Africa 2.1
    • Australia and New Zealand 2.2
    • United Kingdom 2.3
    • Rest of Europe 2.4
  • North America 3
  • South America 4
    • Colombia 4.1
    • Chile 4.2
  • Debate about role 5
  • List of schools and programs 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


The first program for journalism education was introduced by former Confederate General, Robert E. Lee,[1] during his presidency at Washington and Lee University, in Lexington, Virginia, in the 1860s.[2] Both the Missouri School of Journalism at the University of Missouri founded by Walter Williams in 1908[3] and the Ecole Superieure de Journalisme in Paris, France founded in 1899[4] claim to be the world's first journalism school. Although Paris's school opened its doors in 1899 after three years of internal debates, the question was discussed in Missouri since 1895. Since then the journalism school has become standard at most major universities.

Top schools

There have been various attempts to rank journalism schools, and the question of which are the "best" or "top" journalism schools is frequently raised on the internet by students. Many institutions claim to be leading schools of journalism, and there is inevitably debate about which are the most appropriate criteria with which to evaluate and judge journalism schools.


In 2007 the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) named what it terms the Potential Centres of Excellence in Journalism Training in Africa. After thorough research there were twelve journalism and media training institutions named on the list and they were not placed in any order.

These twelve UNESCO Potential Centres of Excellence in Journalism Training in Africa are the Department of Journalism at the Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria in South Africa (TUT), Mass Communication Department at Makerere University in Uganda, School of Journalism and Media Studies at Rhodes University in Grahamstown in South Africa, Department of Mass Communication at the University of Lagos in Nigeria, School of Communication, Legal and Secretarial Studies at the Namibia Polytechnic, Mozambican School of Journalism in Mozambique, Centre d'études des sciences et techniques de l'information in Senegal, The School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Nairobi in Kenya, Department of Journalism at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa, Institut Supérieur de l'Information et de la Communication in Morocco, School of Communication Studies at Walter Sisulu University in South Africa and Ecole Supérieure de Sciences et Techniques de l'Information et de la Communication in Cameroon.

UNESC0's list is not exhaustive, and new schools have been founded since the study was conducted.

With the rise of Internet and social media in the past five years there has been increasing demand for journalism schools offering specialized training in the kinds of modern challenges journalists face in the rapidly changing online-media landscape. E-jicom Graduate School of Journalism and Communication in Dakar, Senegal is one such institution, offering specialized training combining stringent media ethics with the modern technological demands of online media.

Australia and New Zealand

In Australia, the Queensland University of Technology's journalism degree is highly regarded, with their research in language, communication and culture rated Australia's best, and well above world standard in the 2010 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) initiative results.[5] QUT's graduates are also in some of Australia's highest paying and most respected journalism careers; including Sharyn Ghidella at Channel Seven,[6] Karl Stefanovic at Channel Nine,[7] and Leigh Sales, Spencer Howson and David Curnow (former 7pm anchor) at the ABC to name a few.[8] Many more have won the prestigious Walkley Award for excellence in journalism.[9][10]

Other reports also suggest that QUT is the institution from which most employed journalists graduated.[11]

The New Zealand Training Organisation has published a list of New Zealand's journalism schools recognised by industry.[12]

The New Zealand Institute of Business Studies has been teaching Freelance Journalism & Non-Fiction Writing for more than 20 years. Training is less 'academic-focused' and more 'income-earning' focused. Graduates are given a fortnightly list of journalism job vacancies.[13]

United Kingdom

Of City University London's Roy Greenslade. Alumni include Sophie Raworth of the BBC, Sky's Dermot Murnaghan and Channel 4 News Economics Editor Faisal Islam.

Another well-established course is the highly regarded School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies at Cardiff University which was founded in 1970 by Tom Hopkinson. The course was also the UK's top-rated course by the National Council for the Training of Journalists for the academic year 2007/8.[16]

The University of Kent's Centre for Journalism was established with Professor Tim Luckhurst as the first head. The Centre runs both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees that are accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists.[17] and the Broadcast Journalism Training Council. The Centre offers guaranteed work placements with the KM Group.[18] The course blends professional training in multimedia journalism and intense instruction in traditional academic disciplines including history, politics and law. One to one teaching is offered to all students.

One of Europe's longest established centres of journalism education is the department of Journalism, Media and Communication, University of Central Lancashire (also known as UCLan), which launched its first print journalism course in 1962 at the then Harris College, which later became part of the University of Central Lancashire.[19] Of the school, a 2008 article in The Times observed that "it is acknowledged as one of the leading centres for the teaching of journalism in Britain".[20] In 2010, the University won the Broadcast Journalism Training Council's award for general excellence.[21]

The School of Journalism at the University of Lincoln was formally opened by the journalist John Pilger in 2004.[22] It provides programmes at all degree levels. Research in the School focuses on media ethics, international human rights, the coverage of US/UK warfare, and literary journalism, with 70% of the research output assessed in 2008 as 'internationally excellent' or 'world leading'.[23] Teaching emphasizes the growing focus on the convergence of platforms in the media. Courses are accredited by the BJTC and the Periodicals Training Council (PTC).[24] and the School is 'Recognised for Excellence’ by the European Journalism Training Association (EJTA).[25]

The Press Association offer a fast-track 17-week course in Multimedia and print journalism (NCTJ). The short length and intensity of the course makes entry extremely competitive. It was previously owned by Trinity Mirror and many national newspapers send trainees to take part in at least some PA-training within a graduate scheme.

The National Student Survey results for both 2009 and 2010 place University of Sheffield No. 1 in the UK for overall satisfaction with Journalism. Journalism Studies at Sheffield also ranked 1st under the Times Good University Guide 2009 subject league table for Communications and Media Studies. Liverpool John Moores and Bournemouth have well-respected journalism courses. Kingston University, Bournemouth and Birmingham City have developed fully converged journalism courses without reference to separate production disciplines such as radio, newspaper or magazine journalism. Issues from a European perspective in evaluating journalism schools were discussed by the president of the European Journalism Training Association in an interview with Marianne Peters of this Association.[26]

The London School of Journalism (LSJ)[27] is an independent and highly acclaimed institution with well-recognised Postgraduate programs in Journalism and writing. It was founded in 1920 by Sir Max Pemberton. Kingston University also has a well-respected department of journalism. Founded in 2003 it has courses accredited by the NCTJ and PTC. The campus newspaper and magazine produced by its journalism students have won best student publication in the national Guardian Student Media Awards.

Rest of Europe

The Centre de Formation des Journalistes (CFJ[28]) was founded in 1946 by two Resistance leaders, although both École supérieure de journalisme de Paris and Lille had been founded earlier (1899 and 1924 respectively). Located on the rue du Louvre in Paris, many of the leading journalists in France today graduated from this school and come back to help train today's students. Other main French journalisme schools are École supérieure de journalisme de Lille, Ecole de journalisme de Sciences Po, CELSA of Paris-Sorbonne University and Institut Pratique du Journalisme, all in Paris.

During the Third Reich, the Nazis established the Reichspresseschule (Imperial School of Press), in which journalists were taught to write what the National Socialist German Workers' Party wanted the German public to think. After the war, the first Journalism school in Germany was founded in 1949 as Werner Friedmann Institute. 1961 the schools name was changed into Deutsche Journalistenschule (German school of journalism). In 1979, a new journalism school was created in Hamburg, later renamed after the founder of Stern magazine, Henri Nannen.

The International Media Center (Slovenia-Austria-Serbia), offers in cooperation with South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) and South East and Central Europe PR Organisation (SECEPRO) several courses, including master programme.

In Denmark, the University of Southern Denmark established a journalism study programme in 1998 at the then founded Centre for Journalism, as did Roskilde University, following the political decision to break the Danish School of Journalism’s monopoly on educating journalists in Denmark. The purpose was and is to increase the diversity of teaching and research within the field of journalism. Since its establishment, the Centre for Journalism has launched several innovative features within the field, including the by now renowned award for journalists, "The Journalistic Fellowship", and the introduction of a journalist’s oath similar to the Hippocratic oath. Also, in terms of scientific publications it is the most productive journalism research department in Denmark (status: 2005).[29]

In Russia, the MSU Faculty of Journalism is the leading journalism school and the world’s largest school of journalism.[30] The majority of textbooks on journalism in Russian were written by MSU scientists.

In Minsk (Belarus), the Institute of Journalism of BSU is one of the leading scientific and educational centers in the sphere of Mass Media in the territory of the former soviet countries. It possesses a highly respected scientific and pedagogical standard and prepares professionals in mass media for work in Belarus and abroad.

The Hungarian, Bálint György Academy of Journalism (previously known as Hungarian School of Journalism) runs under the aegis of the National Association of Hungarian Journalists (MÚOSZ). Before 1989, the Hungarian School of Journalism served as a highly selective post-graduate program for well-trained journalists in Hungary. Since 2003, the Bálint György Academy of Journalism belongs to the accredited professional education system.

The top Journalism School in Spain according to El Mundo newspaper is the University of Navarra. It is the oldest School of Journalism in Spain and among the Top 10 world universities of medium size according to the QS ranking. Many reputed and well-known journalists have studied at Universidad Complutense de Madrid, one of the Madrid's most prestigious university. Princess Letizia of Spain studied journalism at this University, which is the main public university in the country. Other universities include Carlos III university, Pompeu Fabra University, Autonomous University of Barcelona and Pontifical University of Salamanca.

North America

A listing (unranked) of Canadian journalism schools has been assembled by[31] Journalism schools are listed and classified on the "J-Schools & Programs" page of[32]

In the United States the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC)[33] applies nine standards in evaluating university programs: mission, governance and administration; curriculum and instruction; diversity and inclusiveness; full-time and part-time faculty; scholarship: research, creative and professional activity; student services; resources, facilities and equipment; professional and public service; and assessment of learning outcomes. The ACEJMCC has awarded accreditation to 109 university and college programs of study in journalism and mass communications, but does not attempt to rank the courses or programs. It accredits colleges, schools, departments or divisions.

The listing of a unit as accredited indicates that the unit has been judged by ACEJMC to meet its standards. That judgment is rendered after a self-study prepared by the faculty and administration of the unit and an independent evaluation of the unit by educators and practitioners. The listing shows the bachelor's and professional master's degree programs that were examined during the unit's most recent accreditation review. Some units offer degrees in addition to those listed here. ACEJMC does not accredit programs leading to the Ph.D., which is considered a research (and not a professional) degree. The Council does not list sequences or specialties.

There are only four graduate-only journalism programs in North America: University of Georgia that has a Master of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication (M.A.), a Master of Arts in Health and Medical Journalism (M.A.), and a Doctor of Philosophy in Mass Communication (Ph.D).

Editor & Publisher has presented an unranked list of leading journalism schools,[34] while U.S. News & World Report produces annual lists of the top schools in advertising, print, and other categories based on responses to questionnaires sent to deans and faculty members. A list based on a variety of resources claims to identify the "ten most popular journalism schools in the United States".[35] One critic has pointed to the anecdotal nature of much j-school ranking in the absence of effective tracking of journalism graduates' career paths.[36]

South America

An evaluation of developments in journalism education in Latin America has been undertaken by Professor Rosental Calmon Alves.[37]


In Colombia, the high court determined in 1998 that journalism was not a career. This High court said that journalism is a human right, not a profession.

Because of the ruling there are many schools of communications in Colombia where people study to work in mainly enterprises, but not in mass media

There are only two schools of journalism:

University of Antioquia, a public institution in Medellín, offers Journalism inside the Communications faculty.[38] And University of Rosario in Bogotá, a private institution offers Public Opinion Journalism[39]


Chilean universities with journalism impart the profession as a full five-year degree. With a grade of "bachelor in social communications" and professional title of Journalist, currently exist more than 30 journalism schools in the country. The national system have an accrediting council that independently certifies the universities as a whole and each of the careers. Nevertheless, only a few are accredited.

The top schools in the country are the Faculty of Communications of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, accredited by US's ACEJMC, and the Institute of Communication and Image of the University of Chile, accredited by the National Accrediting Council (CNA). Outside Santiago, the top school is the School of Journalism of the Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaiso, also accredited by the CNA.

Debate about role

One of the most cited critiques of a journalism school was Michael Lewis's article in The New Republic (1993), "J-school ate my brain",[40] which was strongly criticized by University of Maryland College of Journalism dean Reese Cleghorn in American Journalism Review.[41] Discussion of the issues raised by Lewis was evident a decade later in the Chronicle of Higher Education colloquy on journalism education,[42] Columbia Journalism Review's "Searching for the perfect j-school",[43] and "The j-school debate" in the Christian Science Monitor.[44] Alternative approaches to journalism education were suggested in Jack Shafer's Slate article "Can J-school be saved? Professional advice for Columbia University".[45] An article in The Australian discusses "What makes a good school of journalism".[46]

On the internet, a range of weblogs have been set up by journalism students to chronicle or to criticize their journalism colleges. Examples are: "jschoolyear", "jschool05", "the pod" blogspot, "jschool" blog, Australia. An example of a weblog criticising university journalism education in Australia is "What's wrong with the school".[47] One journalism school in the UK, at the University of Westminster,[48] has established a clearing house where all students are expected to contribute to the development and content of their own education and training using blogs.

Various commentaries on journalism education are related to criticisms of contemporary news media standards and values. One example is a paper by Jan Schaffer, executive director of J-Lab: the Institute for Interactive Journalism. [49] A controversial paper to Australia's peak newspaper industry body PANPA (Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers Association) by Professor John Henningham ("Journalism sold short in media courses") blamed industry lack of interest and university cost-cutting for falling standards in journalism education.[50] In Canada, Mark Anderson of the Ottawa Citizen has argued the case for teaching business journalism in college rather than on the job.[51] Canadian journalism professor Rick MacLean has rejected criticism by Robert Fulford ("Just what is the point of j-school") that the best potential journalists will find their way into the media, while many existing j-school students show no interest in news or the media. MacLean argues that education in journalism helps empower members of the public to understand how media work.[52]

List of schools and programs

See also


  1. ^ Journalism and Mass Communications-Washington and Lee University
  2. ^ [18]
  3. ^ Missouri School of Journalism: A Brief History of the Missouri School of Journalism
  4. ^ Transformer la société par l'enseignement social ".""". 24 February 2009.  
  5. ^ chrome-extension://oemmndcbldboiebfnladdacbdfmadadm/
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ chrome-extension://oemmndcbldboiebfnladdacbdfmadadm/
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ [19]
  13. ^ [20]
  14. ^ "Inside Story: The Graduates". The Independent (London). 1 November 2004. 
  15. ^ Preston, Peter (5 June 2011). "What's the passport to journalism? The dreaming spires of, er, City University". The Guardian (London). 
  16. ^ National Council for the Training of Journalists: Magnificent six journalism courses revealed
  17. ^ "Accredited courses". NCTJ. Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  18. ^ "Home". Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  19. ^ "University of Central Lancashire". Retrieved 21 February 2011. 
  20. ^ Kidd, Patrick (22 February 2008). "The Times University Guides". London. Retrieved 21 February 2011. 
  21. ^ "Laura Oliver,". Retrieved 11 February 2011. 
  22. ^ "Lincoln School of Journalism - University of Lincoln". Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  23. ^ "Research narrative - University of Lincoln". Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  24. ^
  25. ^ "Members | EJTA". Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  26. ^ Fejs
  27. ^ London School of Journalism
  28. ^ CFJ - Centre de Formation des Journalistes
  29. ^ Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (in Danish)
  30. ^ "Partnership with Russia's Largest School of Journalism Announced - Missouri School of Journalism". Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  31. ^
  32. ^ The Canadian Journalism Project
  33. ^ [21]
  34. ^ [22]
  35. ^ [23]
  36. ^ [24]
  37. ^ [25]
  38. ^
  39. ^
  40. ^ [26]
  41. ^ [27]
  42. ^ [28]
  43. ^ [29]
  44. ^ [30]
  45. ^ [31]
  46. ^ "What makes a good school of journalism". The Australian. 21 September 2006. 
  47. ^ "what's wrong with the school"
  48. ^ University of Westminster
  49. ^ [32]
  50. ^ The Australian (Media section), 23 October 2003, republished at
  51. ^ [33]
  52. ^ [34]

External links

  • ACEJMC list of accredited programs
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