Declaration of Principles

The World Journalism Education Council’s Declaration of Principles developed out of the first meeting of the World Journalism Education Congress.

At this meeting in 2007 in Singapore, members form 28 journalism education association from six continents identified 11 principles to serve as a standard for journalism education worldwide.

Guided by these 11 principles, the member organization of the World Journalism Education Council pledge to work together to strengthen journalism education and increase its value to students, employers and the public.

WJEC’s Principles of Journalism Education

We, the undersigned representatives of professional journalism education associations, share a concern and common understanding about the nature, role, importance, and future of journalism education worldwide. We are unanimous that journalism education provides the foundation as theory, research, and training for the effective and responsible practice of journalism. Journalism education is defined in different ways. At the core is the study of all types of journalism.

Journalism should serve the public in many important ways, but it can only do so if its practitioners have mastered an increasingly complex body of knowledge and specialized skills. Above all, to be a responsible journalist must involve an informed ethical commitment to the public. This commitment must include an understanding of and deep appreciation for the role that journalism plays in the formation, enhancement and perpetuation of an informed society.

We are pledged to work together to strengthen journalism education and increase its value to students, employers and the public. In doing this we are guided by the following principles:

  1. At the heart of journalism education is a balance of conceptual, philosophical and skills-based content. While it is also interdisciplinary, journalism education is an academic field in its own right with a distinctive body of knowledge and theory.
  2. Journalism is a field appropriate for university study from undergraduate to postgraduate levels. Journalism programs offer a full range of academic degrees including bachelors, masters and Doctor of Philosophy degrees as well as certificate, specialized and mid-career training.
  3. Journalism educators should be a blend of academics and practitioners; it is important that educators have experience working as journalists.
  4. Journalism curriculum includes a variety of skills courses and the study of journalism ethics, history, media structures/institutions at national and international level, critical analysis of media content and journalism as a profession. It includes coursework on the social, political and cultural role of media in society and sometimes includes coursework dealing with media management and economics. In some countries, journalism education includes allied fields like public relations, advertising, and broadcast production.
  5. Journalism educators have an important outreach mission to promote media literacy among the public generally and within their academic institutions specifically.
  6. Journalism program graduates should be prepared to work as highly informed, strongly committed practitioners who have high ethical principles and are able to fulfill the public interest obligations that are central to their work.
  7. Most undergraduate and many masters programs in journalism have a strong vocational orientation. In these programs experiential learning, provided by classroom laboratories and on-the-job internships, is a key component.
  8. Journalism educators should maintain strong links to media industries. They should critically reflect on industry practices and offer advice to industry based on this reflection.
  9. Journalism is a technologically intensive field. Practitioners will need to master a variety of computer-based tools. Where practical, journalism education provides an orientation to these tools.
  10. Journalism is a global endeavor; journalism students should learn that despite political and cultural differences, they share important values and professional goals with peers in other nations. Where practical, journalism education provides students with first-hand experience of the way that journalism is practiced in other nations.
  11. Journalism educators have an obligation to collaborate with colleagues worldwide to provide assistance and support so that journalism education can gain strength as an academic discipline and play a more effective role in helping journalism to reach its full potential.

Undersigning Representatives

  • African Council on Communication Education (ACCE)
  • Arab-U.S. Association of Communication Educators (AUSACE)
  • Asian Media Information Centre (AMIC)
  • Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC)
  • Association for Journalism Education (UK)
  • Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication (ASJMC)
  • Broadcast Education Association (BEA)
  • Canadian Committee for Education in Journalism (CCEJ)
  • Chinese Journalism Education Association
  • European Journalism Training Association (EJTA)
  • Global Network for Professional Education in Journalism and Media (JourNet)
  • International Association of Media and Communication Research (IAMCR)
  • Israel Communication Association
  • The Japan Society for Studies in Journalism and Mass Communication (JSSJMC)
  • Journalism Education Association (Australia & New Zealand)
  • Latin American Association of Communication Researchers (ALAIC)
  • Latin American Federation of Social Communication Schools (FELAFACS)
  • Nigerian Association of Journalism and Mass Communication Teachers
  • Philippine Association of Communication Educators (PACE)
  • Russian Association for Education in Journalism
  • Saudi Association for Media and Communication
  • South African Communication Association
  • Trans-African Council for Communication (Tracce)