The Faculty of Journalism of ZNU (Zaporizhzhia National University) within the framework of international activities invited Professor Nico Drok (Windesheim University (Netherlands) to give a guest lecture to the faculty teachers and students majoring in specialties "Journalism" and "Information, Library and Archival Affairs". Professor Drok’s lecture was "How teachers of journalism faculties see future professions in the context of social change: a view from different countries".
Deputy Dean for International Affairs of the Faculty of Journalism Katerina Sirinyok-Dolgaryova moderated and translated at the event. The Dean of the Faculty of Journalism Viktor Kostiuk, teachers of the Chair of Journalism, the Chair of Social Communications and Information Activity and the Chair of Publishing and Editing joined the lecture.
ZNU cooperation with Professor Nico Drok, who is the Honorary President of the European Journalism Training Association/EJTA and Vice President of the World Journalism Education Council/WJEC, began within the framework of the international project on capacity building of higher education Erasmus+ KA2 DESTIN ("Journalism Education for Democracy in Ukraine: Developing Standards, Integrity and Professionalism"). Last year, Professor Drok headed a peer-review visit to Zaporizhzhia National University, during which the DESTIN project experts gave a positive assessment of the updated Bachelor's and Master's degree programs in Journalism in the light of the application of European experience in teaching journalism.
This year the cooperation continued at the level of scientific research. Thus, ZNU became a co-organizer of the survey "Journalistic roles, values and qualifications in the XXI century: how journalism teachers in Europe see the future of the profession in the transition period" initiated by the European Journalism Teachers Association (EJTA). It is worth noting that sixteen Ukrainian universities for the first time joined such a large-scale study in the field of journalism education, in which 28 European countries took part this year. Professor Drok presented the preliminary results of this survey in his report in May at the international scientific and practical conference "European Values in Ukrainian Education: Challenges and Prospects", which was organized under the auspices of the Erasmus+ project JMM EUVOLIA with the participation of the Erasmus+ projects JMM EU-Indy and KA2 DESTIN.
In his lecture, Nico Drok presented a detailed analysis-comparison of the vision of teachers of journalism faculties of Ukraine and their colleagues from Europe on the ways of developing the profession of a journalist and an information specialist in the future. It turns out that there are differences, though insignificant, but there are. First ofz all, the background of teachers is different: in Ukraine, they are mostly women (74%) with a doctoral degree and an average age of 42 years, while in European countries they are mostly men (59%) with a master's degree and more than five years of experience in the media, with an average age of 47 years. Regarding the role of journalists in the future, Europeans prefer the so-called "slow" journalism, its investigative type. Ukrainian lecturers still see a significant role of journalists in the dissemination of news, operational work of the media, although they also note the growing trend towards analytical and investigative work of the media.
Professor Drok pointed out that European trends suggest developing among students a number of important skills: analytical, research, social, language and verification skills. Analytical skills provide an opportunity to develop the ability to distinguish between primary and secondary problems and the ability to see the relationship and connections between problems. Research skills - the ability to conduct in-depth research, identify violations of important values in society and expose abuses, as well as openly demonstrate the media's workflow and journalistic research methods. Verification skills include the ability to evaluate sources, verify facts and expose false and harmful information coming from government agencies, business organizations, civil society organizations and other media, including social media.
Social skills include the ability to cooperate with all sides of society, including other media, and to communicate across cultural, socio-economic and geographical boundaries. As for language skills, according to the professor, the ability to listen carefully to others and to tell stories in all forms and combinations of forms, such as text, sound, images, video or virtual reality, is of particular importance today. Nico Drok stressed that these skills are top priorities for the era of the networked society. They are essential to uphold European values and are among keystones of modern journalism education.
At the end of the meeting, Professor Drok answered questions from teachers and students, including postgraduate students who are currently undergoing pedagogical practice. Students asked the Dutch scientist about the trends in scientific research, his advice on writing PhD theses. The lecture provided an opportunity to look at the international perspective of journalism teaching and research and deepen the cooperation of the faculty towards integration into the European educational space.