We’re developing an online academy designed to give journalists a lifelong professional education and access to an international community of best practice.
Our research shows there is a very large variance in the quality of journalism education and in the quality of different media houses across Africa and Asia.
Strange as it may seem, there is a gap for an internationally recognised validation of best professional practice in journalism.
To fill that gap, Thomson Foundation decided to design its own e-learning programme with the help of global media and education specialists. The academy will teach the universal skills of storytelling and journalistic ethics across print, broadcast and online and will show journalists how to get the best out of the digital world of mobile journalism, coding and social media.
This is a hugely exciting project offering a unique interactive learning experience.
Thomson Foundation’s chief executive, Nigel Baker, says there is an urgent international need for such a project: “We want to fill a yawning void in the international news industry by providing online, vocational training which addresses the challenges faced by journalists in developing countries and emerging economies.
“We aim to create a community of journalists online, and keep on improving our courses by listening to their feedback and needs.”
The academy’s key expert, Chris Birkett says: “This is a hugely exciting project, bringing together some of the industry’s leading practitioners to offer a unique interactive learning experience from people who really know today’s complex media landscape.”
As a founding editor of BBC News and later deputy head of news at Sky News, Chris Birkett brings a sustained record of success in leadership roles in major news organisations.
Among the other industry experts helping to develop the journalism programme are Jamal Osman, an award-winning reporter specialising in sub-Saharan Africa for the UK’s Channel 4 News, and Jon Laurence, online lead at Channel 4 News.
We want to push boundaries. At the heart of the academy sits international validation delivered in focused, interactive modules that will suit busy journalists. We also want to create a lifelong relationship with Thomson Foundation. If you do a course with us, you can join the community with its role models, networks of colleagues and an online stylebook and archive of great journalism.
E-learning opens up a whole new world of possibilities. Initially, we want to target journalists and media organisations in English-speaking countries in Africa and Asia. However, after demonstrating the prototype to British newsroom executives, they have also shown keen interest in what we are creating. For further information on the e-learning initiative, contact Hosam El Nagar.
Director of Innovation and Learning
About: Hosam is responsible for new products and services and is leading the foundation’s drive into e-learning. He also manages key partnerships, primarily in the Middle East.