Dual vocational training for journalists (Cooperation with DW Akademie)

Programme description

Title: Dual vocational training for journalists II (ProPeriodismo)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Bolivia
Lead executing agency: Ministerio de Comunicación
Overall term: 2013 to 2018

Bolivien. Übungssituation Lokalradios (Foto Peter Stegemann). © GIZ

Context

Bolivia still lacks a training system dedicated to journalism. Even most of the journalists working for urban media are self-taught. The universities only offer journalism as a subject within degree programmes in communication, with only scant attention paid to specific journalistic formats and forms of presentation. Journalists in rural areas have very limited access to university education and acquire their skills almost exclusively on the job.

State institutions require well-trained communicators with abilities that can satisfy the population’s demands for information. In future, Bolivian society is to benefit from the work of competent journalists and communicators who have completed dual vocational training.

Objective

The training offered for journalists and communicators in Bolivia is geared to actual practice, integrates international professional standards and fosters critical awareness of the role of the media in a state governed by the rule of law.

Bolivia © GIZ

Approach

ProPeriodismo is a project focusing on dual vocational training for journalists. It adopts an innovative training model that promotes pluralistic, balanced and democratic media work.

Dual vocational training is designed to build skills, resources and capacities. Its student-centred teaching methods encourage participants to carefully consider their own learning processes. The project is adapting Germany’s dual vocational training model to the local conditions in Bolivia and places particular emphasis on research and journalistic ethics. In the context of journalism in Latin America, this programme is so far one of a kind.

The government training institution for public administration is providing systematic support for the dual vocational training course and is developing participant-centred training models.

The project is working in four areas:

  1. Dual vocational training for journalists
  2. Dialogue between the state, media and universities
  3. Improving the skills of journalists at local radio stations
  4. Training institutional communications specialists.

PrePeriodismo is a cooperative initiative between GIZ and DW Akademie, the international centre for media development, media consulting and journalism training of Deutsche Welle, Germany’s international public broadcaster.

Results achieved so far

The experience gained through the project can be used as a methodological foundation for other dual training courses.

Dual vocational training for journalists. The initial intake included eight female and eight male participants, who completed the course in multimedia journalism. This training covered all key journalistic formats, tools and working areas. Eleven state and private media enterprises in La Paz and Oruro were involved. In addition, 21 journalists received training qualifying them as instructors and trainers. The students spent one year in the dual vocation training programme, participating in seminars and acquainting themselves with everyday professional work in media enterprises.

Dialogue between the state, media and universities. A total of 39 lecturers in journalism from 13 universities received in-service training in practice-oriented teaching. As well as being able to apply the acquired skills at their universities, they can now also teach in the context of dual vocational training for journalists.

Discussion events bringing together representatives of state agencies, university communications courses and the media were used to support the discourse on better academic training in connection with the practical aspects of journalistic work.

Improving the skills of journalists at local radio stations. Over 100 employees from community, miners’ and indigenous radio stations have learned how to use appropriate journalistic formats and to reflect on their own roles as media professionals.

Bolivia. © GIZ

Training institutional communications specialists. The government training institution for public administration is developing a dual vocational training programme. It is being tailored to the needs of the communications departments in ministries and aims to improve institutional communication.

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