The proposed Master of Arts in Digital Journalism is a 24-month part-time program that prepares working journalists to become leaders in their field and to make a positive difference in their societies. Students develop the knowledge, skills and qualities needed to succeed at the highest levels of their profession in an era of technology-driven change, by working closely with renowned journalists and scholars from around the world in courses that blend practice, reflection and theory.
The MA curriculum places special emphasis on developing students’ abilities in the following areas:
We begin from the premise that in the digital era, all journalists must harness the power of technology to collect and analyze information, connect with audiences and tell compelling stories across multiple platforms. Taking advantage of GSMC’s state-of-the-art facilities, students will work individually and as teams as they discover new ways to craft and deliver content for print, radio, TV, online and mobile audiences.
Superior reporting is the product of superior knowledge. By working a beat day-in and day-out, reporters develop the knowledge and sources needed to break news, deliver insightful analysis and tell extraordinary stories. The specialist-reporting segment of the MA covers a full semester, as students learn the art of beat reporting before choosing to specialize in business and finance, environment and resources, or humanitarian journalism. They will emerge ready to lead newsroom coverage in whichever beat they select.
For the media to contribute to society’s success, it must demonstrate the quality, independence and reliability needed to earn the public’s trust, and it must strive every day to merit the unique power and responsibility it holds. Students will deepen their understanding of media law, regulation and ethics in Africa and the developing world, analyzing regional practices and trends in a global context and in the light of fundamental principles. By reviewing the historic role and contemporary function of the media around the globe, and by engaging with detailed case studies that put them in the shoes of decision makers who have faced complex journalistic questions in the developing world, they will sharpen their ability to evaluate the problems of ethics, power and responsibility that confront them on a daily basis.
The rapidly evolving nature of journalism and the increasing complexity and interconnectedness of our world make far-sighted leadership indispensable. Students will examine the changing media landscape in Africa and around the world, the challenges and opportunities of the digital age and the many ways in which different organizations and individuals are adapting. They will develop their leadership skills by studying a variety of leadership theories and frameworks, evaluating different leadership styles, critiquing their own practice and learning to tailor their approach to different situations and goals.
Journalism makes a difference when it questions the common wisdom, tests arguments against evidence, shines a spotlight into dark corners and subjects itself to the same unbiased scrutiny it directs at others. Throughout the MA experience, students are challenged to think critically about a wide range of issues, examine their assumptions and reflect on their own work – a process that culminates in the completion of a dissertation. Significant time is devoted to developing advanced investigative and research skills, with topics ranging from cultivating sources to evaluating polls to data-driven reporting.