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The Challenge of Promoting Diversity in Western Journalism Education: An Exploration of Existing Strategies and a Reflection on Its Future Development

  • Rozane De Cock
  • Stefan MertensEmail author
Living reference work entry

Abstract

Western journalism is guided by a traditional occupational ideology that includes values as truth and accuracy, independence, fairness and impartiality, humanity, and accountability. (http://www.ethicaljournalism.org). Nowadays, this ideology faces the pressure of two ongoing developments, i.e., multimediality and multiculturalism (Deuze et al. 2002). Furthermore, mass audiences lose their unified and monolithic characteristics due to the demographic diversity in society. Media use becomes increasingly personalized and digital platforms gain importance, resulting in a society that is diverse, but displaying a media consumption pattern increasingly based on digital platforms, that functions as an echo chamber of one’s own opinions, inspired by one’s own identity. This evolution entangles the necessity of developing an adapted code of praxis for journalism education that fosters diversity as a central concept (Deuze et al. 2002). Following Botma (2016) journalism education needs to teach cultural citizenship in the digital future. Also O’Donnel states that media diversity is an important public interest policy objective and that “audience access to a wide variety of news and opinions sources enhances democracy” (2017, p. 20). This implies that journalism students need to acquire digital literacy, alongside with cultural knowledge on diversity. The DIAMOND “Diversity and Information Media: new tools for a multifaceted public debate” project in Flanders aspires to develop educational tools to face this challenge. To reach this goal, the project explores existing initiatives on diversity education in journalism schools in Flanders by conducting a survey among the staff of all the bachelor and master programs, alongside interviews with ten selected international journalism education experts, known for their trendsetting role in diversity education in journalism. Different strategies of educational dealing with differences in society regarding age, gender, ethnicity, class, disability, and sexual identity will be discussed throughout the data analysis, and suggestions for the development of future teaching material will be presented. The focus is on Western countries dealing with diversity in journalism education, with a special case study on Flanders.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of LeuvenLeuvenBelgium

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