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ZNU Press Centre News / News / The Faculty of Journalism continues to work on the Erasmus + KA2 project DESTIN

The Faculty of Journalism continues to work on the Erasmus + KA2 project DESTIN

The Faculty of Journalism continues to work on the Erasmus + KA2 project DESTIN
16.10.2020 15:30 All Top news Faculties Journalism DESTIN ZNU Zaporizhzhia National University факультет журналістики проєктна діяльність міжнародна діяльність проєкт Еразмус+ Journalism Education for Democracy in Ukraine: Developing Standards Integrity and Professionalism/DESTIN

Among current priorities of the Faculty of Journalism of ZNU (Zaporizhzhia National University) is the development of international projects and activities as well as the modernization of educational programs for the training of journalists. An important component of such activities is the active participation of the Faculty's staff and students in the implementation of the Erasmus+ project (KA2: Capacity Building in Higher Education) «Journalism Education for Democracy in Ukraine: Developing Standards, Integrity and Professionalism / DESTIN».

This is a three-year (from November 15, 2018 to November 15, 2021) international consortium project. It brought together representatives from 20 organizations and higher education institutions in EU and Ukraine for developing and implementing new standards of journalism education in Ukraine, taking into account the experience of European countries.

Among them are four European universities: Bath Spa University (UK), Adam Mickiewicz University (Poland), Linnaeus University (Sweden) and Institute of Art, Design and Technology (Ireland). And also ten Ukrainian HEIs: Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Bohdan Khmelnytsky National University of Cherkasy, Ivan Franko National University of Lviv, International University of Economics and Humanities (Rivne), Yuriy Fedkovych National University of Chernivtsi, Mariupol State University, Sumy State University, Ukrainian Catholic University (Lviv), Uzhhorod National University and Zaporizhzhia National University. In addition, professional organizations are among its participants: World University Service (Austria), Ethical Journalism Network (UK), European Journalism Training Association (Netherlands), Hromadske Radio (Ukraine) and Ukrainian Association of Students.

Participation in this project testifies educational potential of the Faculty of Journalism of ZNU. At the time of joining the list of participants in the DESTIN consortium the Erasmus+ Capacity Building in Higher Education competition was as high as ever: only 118 out of 874 applications from around the world were funded. By the way, the total amount of the grant allocated for the implementation of this project is almost 800 thousand euros.

At the beginning of the project implementation during the kick-off conference, its participants – representatives of all higher education institutions and professional organizations – outlined the key stages of implementation for three years (2019-2021). In particular, they talked about conducting an audit of bachelor's and master's programs in journalism at ten universities participating in the consortium, surveying students and graduates of journalism faculties on the quality of educational programs as well as establishing ways of cooperation with media employers. Representatives of Zaporizhzhia National University were actively involved in all stages of its implementation.

The initial stage of participation in the project for representatives of Ukrainian universities was familiarization with the experience of foreign colleagues. In particular, the Dean of the Faculty of Journalism Viktor Kostiuk, the Deputy Dean for International Cooperation, Associate Professor of the Department of Journalism Katerina Sirinyok-Dolgaryova, and Associate Professor of the Department of German Philology and Translation of the Faculty of Foreign Philology Olena Tupakhina went on a study visit to the Bath Spa University (UK). Also, representatives of the Faculty of Journalism of ZNU studied how journalists are trained in higher education institutions of Ireland, Poland and Sweden.

In May 2019, European colleagues held trainings at the general conference of scholars from universities participating in the consortium. The conference was held at the Institute of Journalism of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyi and was dedicated to the quality of journalism education.

The next stage of the DESTIN project implementation was the active work of the scientific and pedagogical staff of the Faculty of Journalism of ZNU on the development of the latest educational programs for bachelor's and master's degrees.

In addition, DESTIN experts from EU countries visited Zaporizhzhia National University this year. They got acquainted with the material and technical base of the Faculty of Journalism, with its educational programs. Foreign partners also met with the university administration and the faculty, its teachers, graduates and students, with the staff of the educational department and with employers. The latter is important, since during the implementation of the project it is planned to focus on the requirements of stakeholders, in particular, when training successful specialists.

As a result of this peer-review visit, foreign colleagues positively assessed the efforts of ZNU representatives in implementing the project and provided a number of recommendations, which the Faculty of Journalism took into account when updating educational programs for students of different levels.

Today, Zaporizhzhia National University continues to actively implement the project. Thus, since the beginning of this academic year, the first-year bachelor's and master's students of the Faculty of Journalism have begun studying on the updated educational programs, which have been approved by foreign project participants.

The Dean of the Faculty of Journalism Viktor Kostiuk, speaking about the changes in the training of future journalists, said: “Since the beginning of this academic year, the number of practical disciplines that form the specific skills of a professional journalist has increased for the first-year bachelor's students. In particular, it is the acquisition of professional skills necessary for students to collect information, write news, create audio and video products, etc.”

As for the master's program in Journalism, previously ZNU offered a set of disciplines that formed a journalist, a scientist, a university teacher. The new journalism master's program got rid of the pedagogical component. Today, journalism masters students will develop themselves as media analysts, media managers and scholars. A number of academic disciplines will contribute to the acquisition of relevant skills and abilities demanded by society and the labor market. In particular, we are talking about the courses of "Political Journalism", "Media Criticism", “Essays writing”, "Analytical Writing", which deepen the students' view of the state and prospects of the media industry in Ukraine and the world. Such disciplines as "Academic Writing", "Qualitative and Quantitative Methods of Media Research" will equip master students with reliable scientific tools for studying a variety of social processes that are influenced by the media.

 The courses «Strategic Communication Management», «Project Management», «Psychological and Educational Technologies in Media Management» will form extremely important integrated skills in the management field. This includes communication within the team, productive interaction in the team, effective fight against psycho-emotional burnout at work and professional deformation. It is also important that in the new academic year, master's students of journalism have the freedom to choose the disciplines of professional training, which fully meets the standards of the European model of journalism education.

Associate Professor of the Department of Journalism Pavlo Miroshnychenko, who teaches the course «Psychological and Educational Technologies in Media Management» in the first semester for master’s students, said: “This course has just started this academic year at the Master's degree program of the Faculty of Journalism. I am actually teaching the first part of this discipline, which is related to the issues of psychological technologies in media management. Probably, it is too early to talk about the thorough conclusions of the effectiveness of this course, but now I am 100 percent sure of its practical benefits for students of the Master's degree in Journalism. Classes are held in a friendly atmosphere of fruitful teamwork. Everyone has the opportunity to test their own strength in solving interesting and difficult problems in the psychology of management, including creative industries, including the media. Also in the classroom, students can adjust, based on the exchange of views, critical comments of colleagues, the concepts of their own media organizations, which is an individual task of the course. I hope that the defense of these tasks will testify to the high level of professional training of master's students.

At the same time, the university continues organizational work on the further implementation of the project. Recently, the Deputy Dean for International Affairs, Associate Professor of the Department of Journalism Katerina Sirinyok-Dolgaryova took part in an online meeting of DESTIN managers, which was held remotely by professor Ian Gadd, project manager from the Bath Spa University (UK). Its participants discussed the further implementation of the project and current challenges during the quarantine restrictions, planned work for this academic year. Within the project, the Faculty of Journalism of ZNU will work as a part of a group that will develop online courses on media literacy.

Today, in times of hybrid war against Ukraine, such media literacy courses are more relevant than ever. After all, they teach how to recognize fakes, find sources of information that can be trusted, how to work with information and check its reliability, etc. Representatives of the scientific and pedagogical staff of the Faculty of Journalism constantly organize such courses for different segments of the population, in particular for school teachers and high school students. In addition, they train trainers who could conduct media literacy classes in all parts of Zaporizhzhia region.

The Faculty closely cooperates with its graduates in the organization of the educational process. In particular, on October 6 and 7, at the initiative of graduate Anna Samoilenko, a two-day conference "ZEFIR" on the practice of communications was held. It was attended by specialists in the field of journalism, public relations, advertising, publishing.

The outcome of the cooperation of all participants of the project "Journalism Education for Democracy in Ukraine: Developing Standards, Integrity and Professionalism/DESTIN" will be practical recommendations for the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine on the modernization of journalism education in Ukrainian universities and training of journalism professionals in accordance with European standards.

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