Reporting marginalised voices as a route to self –reflection in journalism education

Authors: Fowler-Watt, K.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/27125/

Start date: 4 November 2016

When reporting crisis events, we as journalists can make the voiceless voiceless” (Marsh. 2016). Journalists decide who is heard – decisions often determined by the limits of time, social milieu and newsroom environments. This paper shares the experience and outcomes of working with final year undergraduate journalism students to interrogate mainstream media and conventional practices utilising digital tools and critical thinking that focused on ‘bottom up’ approaches to journalism. The context of social media, the blogosphere, citizen – witnessing (Allan, 2013) and a quest to define ‘where the best journalism lies’ (Sigal, 2016) informed the design of a curriculum, supported by a visiting speaker programme ranging from The Guardian and BBC to Mail Online to Global Voices. Students engaged critically with issues such as representing Islam, in the wake of the Paris attacks and Charlie Hebdo, the challenges faced by journalists working in communities, divided by conflict or scandal and reporting stories that are mis-represented or under-represented in the media. Journalistic shibboleths of objectivity, questions of ethics and verification were scrutinised through the lens of critical, personal self- reflection. The final individual presentations displayed a raised awareness by students blending theory with practice to articulate how they, as working journalists would strive to ‘give voice to the voiceless’.

KEYWORDS voice; self-reflection; critical thinking; social media; journalism

REFERENCES Allan, S.,2013, Citizen Witnessing: Revisioning Journalism in Times of Crisis (Key Concepts in Journalism), Polity Press.

Marsh, K., 2016, “Explaining Islamist Terror: the challenges for responsible journalism”, Lecture at Bournemouth University, February 24th, 2016 Sigal, I., 2016, “Unheard Stories: White Road and Global Voices”, Lecture at Bournemouth University, March 3rd, 2016.

Zuckerman, E., 2013, Digital Cosmopolitans, New York: Norton BIOGRAPHY Dr Karen Fowler-Watt is Head of the School of Journalism, English and Communication at Bournemouth University. Formerly a senior BBC journalist, she is co editor (with Stuart Allan) of ‘Journalism: New Challenges’ (2013).

When reporting crisis events, we as journalists can make the voiceless voiceless” (Marsh. 2016). Journalists decide who is heard – decisions often determined by the limits of time, social milieu and newsroom environments. This paper shares the experience and outcomes of working with final year undergraduate journalism students to interrogate mainstream media and conventional practices utilising digital tools and critical thinking that focused on ‘bottom up’ approaches to journalism. The context of social media, the blogosphere, citizen – witnessing (Allan, 2013) and a quest to define ‘where the best journalism lies’ (Sigal, 2016) informed the design of a curriculum, supported by a visiting speaker programme ranging from The Guardian and BBC to Mail Online to Global Voices. Students engaged critically with issues such as representing Islam, in the wake of the Paris attacks and Charlie Hebdo, the challenges faced by journalists working in communities, divided by conflict or scandal and reporting stories that are mis-represented or under-represented in the media. Journalistic shibboleths of objectivity, questions of ethics and verification were scrutinised through the lens of critical, personal self- reflection. The final individual presentations displayed a raised awareness by students blending theory with practice to articulate how they, as working journalists would strive to ‘give voice to the voiceless’.

KEYWORDS voice; self-reflection; critical thinking; social media; journalism

REFERENCES Allan, S.,2013, Citizen Witnessing: Revisioning Journalism in Times of Crisis (Key Concepts in Journalism), Polity Press.

Marsh, K., 2016, “Explaining Islamist Terror: the challenges for responsible journalism”, Lecture at Bournemouth University, February 24th, 2016 Sigal, I., 2016, “Unheard Stories: White Road and Global Voices”, Lecture at Bournemouth University, March 3rd, 2016.

Zuckerman, E., 2013, Digital Cosmopolitans, New York: Norton BIOGRAPHY Dr Karen Fowler-Watt is Head of the School of Journalism, English and Communication at Bournemouth University. Formerly a senior BBC journalist, she is co editor (with Stuart Allan) of ‘Journalism: New Challenges’ (2013).

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