INSTITUTION + ENGAGED
It was clear for years that the position of journalism was changing. A journalist cannot do without being committed to and collaborating with others. This concerns the public as well as companies, institutions and related professions.
It also turned out that journalism needed an answer to the growing polarization in society and the diminished confidence in reporting. Instead of trying to maintain the appearance of objectivity and independence, it seemed more logical to work together to interact with the public and companies, without losing sight of journalistic norms and values.
Companies also realized that you are more credible if you leave room for a critical voice in reporting. In addition, the audience had a greater need for content that helps, rather than for information that journalists believe is good for them.
Mixed work floor
It was therefore logical that this collaboration was reflected in the training. How beautiful it was when the first building was opened that housed a training course, an editorial team and several companies. In a mix of guest lectures on the journalistic basis, directly producing for the journalistic editors, in projects in which assignments are done for all kinds of different companies and organizations, students learn to make innovative productions that seamlessly match the wishes of the target group.
It does not matter what previous education the student has when he enters. Key is that he learns to think creatively and entrepreneurially, develops a journalistic attitude and starts making good productions. There are various entry levels, if you already are more advanced with certain skills you can end at a higher level. This way you can excel in certain areas.
Together with the audience
Besides the basic skills such as researching, interviewing and making productions, there is also a lot of room to learn to work together with the audience. These are almost anthropological skills: observing, listening and, above all, identifying needs. What is the audience's perspective? How can I give a voice to people who are usually portrayed in a negative light? How does the public want the news to be delivered? In addition, a student will have to distinguish different communities and have knowledge of revenue models in journalism in order to serve these communities.
Technology for new opportunities
Since checkbots can quickly check content for reliability, you can also make much better use of the information that the public provides. The checkbot checks what the source is, to what extent the information occurs in other places, who the sender is, whether it has been used more often, etc. The journalist can then use this information for messages.
Via the AI technique of recommendation, and therefore based on data and interests of the user, an app then sends personal push notifications to small sub-target groups. In this way, you can ensure that the public receives messages that match their interests. In order to deal with this critically and to be able to monitor it, a journalist must have knowledge of the characteristics of target groups and the distribution of content.
“I have always felt that there should be no one-size-fits-all conception of journalism. Because who sets the limit? Why, for example, should journalism only address problems and not look for solutions? What's wrong with engagement? I see it as my task to teach students journalistic norms and values on the one hand, but to always keep an eye on who you work for on the other. You want to make something that really benefits your audience, right?
In the projects we do, we make sure that every student comes into their own - whatever your background. After all, everyone has a talent. We do have a fixed program, but you can make choices within it, depending on the subject in which you want to excel. Do you want to take your skills to build interactive productions to the next level? Then you join the relevant team. Do you want to be able to do in-depth research? Then you can continue with that.
There is an extensive mix of toolboxes for all teams and the task of supervisors is to take those skills to a much higher level. At the same time, you learn to speak the same language by collaborating with all kinds of different professionals and by having a lot of contact with your audience. That is crucial to succeed in this world.”
“I make productions with the journalistic skills I have and from a curious and critical attitude. That does not alter the fact that I like to collaborate, for example with companies and institutions. I recently made a beautiful, augmented reality production together with a hospital. If you go through this, you will meet all kinds of people. Each of them tells their own story. To be able to do this, I followed a broad media training in which I learned to work in an entrepreneurial way as a journalist. I learned not only the basics of journalism, but also working with companies to get their message across in a journalistic way. I now have my own company with three different employees (design, IT, journalism) in which I make journalistic productions for all kinds of clients. Most recently, I did an investigative journalistic job for Amnesty into human rights violations ahead of the next Olympics.”