The Faculty of Journalism of ZNU summarizes the participation in the international project Erasmus+ KA2 DESTIN
The representatives of the Department of Journalism of ZNU returned from Poznań (Poland), where the final meeting of the governing board of the international project of the European Union ERASMUS+KA2 "Journalism Education for Democracy in Ukraine: Developing Standards, Integrity and Professionalism" (DESTIN) was held at the Adam Mickiewicz University. The dean of the Faculty of Journalism, Viktor Kostyuk, and associate professors of the Department of Journalism, Yulia Liubchenko and Olena Usmanova represented ZNU team.
Over the course of two days, all consortium members discussed the results of three years of work in the project, outlined the main types of reporting, and determined the directions in which the work will continue beyond the project.
The Faculty of Journalism of ZNU during the period of DESTIN implementation has achieved significant results. First, the MA and BA study programs and curricula in Journalism were updated. These updates included introduction of new disciplines, revision of existing ones by combining different modules.
Teaching approaches have also changed, in particular we introduced dual and collective teaching, when different teachers are responsible for individual modules of the same discipline. In addition, in the Master's program in Journalism, the pedagogical component has disappeared; instead, the emphasis was put on the formation of a journalist-analyst and a researcher.
"It is important that these changes took place as a result of cooperation with students, teachers and employers. We have created an alumni association and supervisory board of employers, with members of which we periodically meet, discuss trends in journalism, modern challenges of the media market, in order to respond in time to these changes and to the stakeholders’ requests. Student surveys became regular in order to achieve the maximum inclusion of students in the process of organizing training and evaluating the quality of education. We are convinced that such approaches will make it possible to adapt journalism education to the needs of the media to the maximum. In addition, our work was favourably evaluated by the European partners, who visited the faculty with an audit," said Yuliya Liubchenko, guarantor of the Faculty of Journalism at the educational level.
All the achievements of the project participants were reflected in the National Methodological Guidelines for the Content, Development and Implementation of the Bachelor’s and Master’s Study Programmes in Journalism. These recommendations have already been sent to the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine.
Secondly, European partners supported Ukrainian universities at the technological level, which made it possible to equip in ZNU an educational laboratory for digital and radio journalism. Today, thanks to two European grants ERASMUS+ KA2 DESTIN and ERASMUS+ Jean Monnet EU-INDY and the support of the ZNU administration, there is an i-Mac computer, a projector, microphones, and the necessary furniture for teaching audio production in the 420th auditorium of the 2nd building of the ZNU. Already today, creative student projects, audio podcasts, radio broadcasts, round tables are organized, and interviews are held there.
Educational trips of project participants to universities in Poland, Sweden, and United Kingdom were useful for understanding the value orientations of higher journalism education. Regardless of the significant difference in the organization of education, Ukrainian faculties sought to adapt European best practices to local realities. True, the implementation of numerous ideas was prevented first by the pandemic, and then by the full-scale invasion of Russia into the territory of Ukraine, but this did not stop the project, but even more encouraged the participants to create online courses on media literacy. These are educational videos about the reliability of information, countering fakes, information hygiene, fact checking about the coronavirus, etc.
The participants of the final meeting in Poznań devoted a lot of time to not only evaluating the results of the project, but also discussing prospects, because it is important that the established benchmarks continue to develop, and journalism education in Ukraine improves. The already mentioned media literacy courses will be of great importance in this context. "They are not so important for journalism students, because our students have this knowledge. I see two ways of using the courses: they are aimed at students of other faculties, as well as at teachers and high school students. In addition, we have optional interfaculty courses, the students of which should also be involved in watching our video materials. I support the idea of course certification, which will motivate potential users and involve broad segments of the population through the promotion of information in social networks," said Viktor Kostiuk, dean of the Faculty of Journalism of ZNU.
Further student surveys regarding the quality of education at the faculty, cooperation with employers, periodic review of curricula in accordance with the requirements of the labor market, organization of academic mobility of students and teachers, search for partner universities among European universities will also contribute to the sustainability of the project. This work will be continued even after the completion of the DESTIN project. However, the most important thing is that this experience became an impetus for the implementation of European media studies at the Faculty of Journalism.
"The DESTIN project really inspired the journalism faculty team to develop our educational programs along the lines of European studies. It was after study visits to European colleagues when the idea was born. We wanted to develop a whole discipline that would give our students knowledge and practical skills to work in the media at the European level. Therefore, we have prepared the Erasmus+ project Jean Monet Module "European media standards and values in the post-truth era - EU-Indy", which we have been successfully implementing since 2020. DESTIN and EU-Indy brought studies at the ZNU Faculty of Journalism to a qualitatively higher level. And we definitely don't plan to stop!" - said the manager of the DESTIN project, associate professor of the Department of Journalism, Katerina Sirinyok-Dolgaryova.
We remind you that the ERASMUS+KA2 DESTIN project is an international consortium project. It united representatives from 20 institutions and institutions of higher education in Europe and Ukraine in order to develop and implement new standards of journalism education in Ukraine, taking into account the experience of European countries.
Department of Journalism