The State of Journalism Education in Selected Universities: Bahirdar, Mekelle, and Hawassa Universities

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Addis Ababa University


It has been almost quarter of a century since journalism education introduced to Ethiopia at the public higher institution level. But some people from the industry still seem to argue that the graduates are far below their expectations in terms of knowing the craft of the profession and delivering. Graduates also tend to say that the education and the practice are unrelated. Hence, one could assume that it would be imperative to examine the status of journalism education in Ethiopia. This study, therefore, aimed to examine the status of journalism education, its current curriculum, responding capacity and the current challenges. To collect data, a mixed-method approach was used. Qualitative data were collected through use of the content analysis of the current curriculum in-depth interview and semi-structured questionnaire. Quantitative data were obtained through the semi-structured questionnaire and quantitative analysis. The data were collected from educators, media managers and editors, current and former students of journalism education. The data were then analyzed and discussed in terms of existing knowledge such as literature review and compered to UNESCO’s model curriculum for journalism education in developing countries and emerging democracies. The findings revealed that the current harmonized curriculum by the three universities under study did not consider UNESCO’s model and was highly dependent on Western epistemologies. The departments have no close relationship with the media industry and the media industries are still not satisfied with the journalism graduates not only knowing the craft of the profession but also the knowledge itself. The findings also show that there are current challenges such as lack of experienced educators in practical aspects, lack of media equipment and reference books, the absence of strong relationship between the academia and the media industry, the low status of marketability of the graduates, are among the challenges. Although, the university level undergraduate journalism education in Ethiopia was introduced more than two decades; the state of journalism education in the selected universities is still at its infant stage.



Journalism Education in Selected Universities