CMDS Develops Model Curriculum for a Master’s Degree in Investigative Journalism for the Western Balkans and Turkey

November 12, 2021

In partnership with the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) and funded by EuropAid/European Commission, CMDS has developed a model curriculum for a Master’s degree in investigative journalism for the Western Balkans and Turkey.

The curriculum is authored by Sheila S. Coronel, our Curriculum Development Lead for the project, and investigative reporter and journalism trainer Crina Boros, with input from an advisory committee of journalism professors from all the Western Balkan countries.

The curriculum builds on a report by CMDS that identified gaps in journalism training in the region and that recommends more practical training oriented to real-world journalism experience as well as stronger emphasis on current digital and data journalism practices.

The curriculum is in compliance with EU standards. Complete with sample syllabi, it structures the work into four semesters. Lightening the academic load each semester, this will make it possible for students who are already employed to enroll in the program and will give students opportunities to conduct real-world reporting.

The curriculum can easily be adapted to different contexts where journalism is practiced under difficult circumstances. Its modules are easily adjustable and modifiable according to the specific needs and preferences of the program at hand.

Despite the myriad problems faced by the Balkan media, the seeds for a culture of accountability reporting have been planted, and there is room for continued growth. The task ahead is to nurture this growth and to train the next generation of Balkan investigative journalists who would build on the network of the 1990s generation and expand the shrinking spaces for independent reporting," the authors write.

The curriculum has been developed in the framework of the Strengthening Quality News and Independent Journalism in the Western Balkans and Turkey project, which is implemented by BIRN Hub in partnership with Thomson Media gGmbH (TM), the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), Central European University (Center for Media, Data and Society at CEU), the Media Association of South-East Europe (MASEE), the Center for Investigative Journalism of Montenegro (CIN CG), the Independent Trade Union of Journalists and Media Workers in Macedonia (SSNM), BIRN Albania and BIRN Serbia.

The project is funded by EuropeAid/European Commission through its Regional Training and Support Program to Improve Quality and Professionalism in Journalism.

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