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Free Content Between journalism universals and cultural particulars: challenges facing the development of a journalism programme in an East African context

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One of the main dilemmas facing journalism education across Africa is whether one can argue for a universal set of journalistic standards while at the same time maintaining a culturally sensitive journalism practice. Underlying the dilemma is the question of whether there is a need to identify an African journalism philosophy that is normatively different from its Western counterpart. In light of a newly started MA programme in journalism at Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, this article argues that rather than seeing journalistic practices as a negotiation between journalism universals and cultural particulars they ought to be seen as the interplay between the two. Following this argument, the article calls for a rethinking and distinction of the roles of conventional news media and alternative media.

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Keywords: African journalism; Ethiopia; development journalism; journalism education

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia.

Publication date: 01 May 2009

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