World Journalism Education Council (WJEC)

1. Background

The World Journalism Education Council, hereafter WJEC, is a worldwide coalition of academic associations involved in journalism education at university level. It is an outgrowth of four world congresses convened in Singapore (2007), Grahamstown, South Africa (2010), Mechelen, Belgium (2013) and Auckland, New Zealand (2016). Initiated by the USA-based Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), it continues the work established by UNESCO with the Global Network for Professional Education in Journalism and Media (JourNet).

2. Mission Statement

WJEC seeks to improve journalism worldwide through better professional and academic education in this field by linking journalism education organizations to cooperate and share knowledge and best practices. By bringing organizations from different continents together, WJEC provides a common space for journalism educators from around the world to focus on issues that are universal in the field.

3. Objectives

3.1 The overall objective of WJEC is to enhance the quality of journalism and media by linking academic organizations representing institutions that educate journalists.  Specifically, WJEC seeks to:

3.2 convene the World Journalism Education Congress every three years by bringing together teachers, researchers, students and practitioners of journalism from around the world to a scholarly conference;

3.3 uphold and update the Declaration of Universal Principles of Journalism Education approved by the first World Journalism Education Congress in Singapore in June 2007;

3.4 stimulate debate on crucial issues in journalism education and its curricula, such as media freedom and responsibility, professionalism and ethics, through the organization of roundtables, seminars and social media platforms as well as conducting and publishing research;

3.5 promote by other means the partnership between relevant organizations in the improvement of professional education for journalism and media.

4. Membership

4.1 Membership shall be open to academic associations of journalism education.

4.2 Members shall be national or international academic associations maintaining a broad-based individual or institutional membership and having a major focus on journalism education.

4.3 Associates shall be media enterprises, benefactors, foundations or intergovernmental organizations with an active interest in improving journalism education and media practice.

4.4 Applications for membership shall be submitted in writing to the Chair of WJEC and include a statement of the applicant’s agreement to be bound, if admitted, by the terms of the Charter. This shall be subject to approval by the majority of the Steering Committee (see 5.2) and shall be reported to the membership forthwith.

4.5 A member organization shall be expected to participate in either the face-to-face or virtual meeting of the Council at least once in six years. Failing to meet this requirement will result in automatic loss of membership.

4.6 A member may withdraw from WJEC by notice given in writing to the Chair. Withdrawal shall be effective immediately and the Chair shall duly and immediately inform the remaining members.

5. Governance

The governance structure of WJEC shall consist of the General Assembly, the Steering Committee and the Chair.

5.1 General Assembly

5.1.1 The power of decision of WJEC shall rest with the members, meeting in the General Assembly or voting electronically. The members shall ordinarily meet once every three years at the World Journalism Education Congress. An extraordinary meeting of the General Assembly may be convened by the Steering Committee either on its own initiative or at the request of at least one third of the membership. The members shall be given at least 90 days’ notice of any extraordinary meeting. The members shall be informed annually of the activity programme and budget.

5.1.2 Each member organization shall have one vote. Associates and additional representatives of member organizations may attend in a non-voting capacity.

5.2 Steering Committee

5.2.1 In between the sessions of the General Assembly the decision-making power shall rest with the Steering Committee. This Committee shall have full power to pursue the aims and objectives of WJEC and will plan and oversee the implementation of policy and the dispersal of untied funds as appropriate.

5.2.2 The Steering Committee shall comprise a Chair and at least five members, one of whom to be appointed by the Committee as Deputy Chair. No more than one member of the Committee may represent the same organization. No more than two members may be from the same continent. The immediate past Chair and the principal organizer of the most recent WJEC Congress shall serve as ex-officio members of the Steering Committee until the next General Assembly. The Committee may invite any others actively involved in the organization to be on the Steering Committee, without voting rights.

5.2.3 The Steering Committee shall be elected by the General Assembly. The majority of WJEC members must participate in the election of the Committee. The term of office of Committee members shall be three years. They shall be twice eligible for re-election.

5.2.4 The Steering Committee shall meet face-to-face or online at least once a year.

5.2.5 Should there be a vacancy on the Steering Committee, the slot shall be filled at the next meeting of the General Assembly.

5.2.6 The Steering Committee shall take its decisions by a majority vote. In the event of a tie on a particular matter, the Chair shall cast the deciding vote.

5.3 Chair

5.3.1 Candidates for the Chair shall be nominated at least two months in advance of the General Assembly, nominations to be endorsed by the organization which the candidate represents. Nominees shall submit a statement at least one month before the General Assembly, outlining their plans for WJEC activities and administration for the next three-year period.

5.3.2 A majority of the WJEC members must be present either in person, virtually or through proxy vote when electing the Chair.

5.3.3 To be elected, a candidate must receive a majority of the votes cast. If no person gains such a majority at the first vote, the person polling the smallest number of votes shall be dropped from the list and another vote taken. This process shall be repeated until a candidate wins a majority.

5.3.4 The responsibilities of the Chair include:

  • providing leadership to the Council;
  • developing and pursuing the vision, mission and objectives of the Council;
  • maintaining and financing an informal secretariat for WJEC. This could include support from the Chair’s institution or association, privately raised funds, or assumption of the responsibility by another WJEC member;
  • serving as liaison with the host organizers of WJEC congresses;
  • convening the meetings of the General Assembly and the Steering Committee; and
  • other responsibilities that may advance the cause of the WJEC.

6. Budget

6.1 Funds for the purpose of operating WJEC may be derived from:

  • membership fees;
  • donations;
  • revenue-generating activities;
  • partnership with international co-operation agencies and United Nations specialized agencies.

6.2 Any budget associated with WJEC shall be approved and overseen by the Steering Committee with the exception of direct donations for a particular purpose.

7. Language

The official language of WJEC shall be English. Other languages shall be added according to demand, as budgetary resources allow.

8. Amendments

This Charter may be amended after a two-thirds majority vote of the members of the General Assembly.

9. Dissolution

9.1 WJEC may be dissolved by a two-thirds vote of the General Assembly. Proposals for dissolution shall be submitted to the Steering Committee by a petition of at least one third of all members.

9.2 Any remaining assets after the settlements of the Council’s debts and liabilities shall be distributed to other organizations furthering the objectives of WJEC as determined by the Steering Committee.

10. Entry into Force

This Charter shall come into force on 9 August 2017 having been approved unanimously by the WJEC member organizations represented at the meeting in Chicago.

Delegates/Organizations who approved the Charter, either in person or via Skype: (Chicago, Illinois, USA, 9 August, 2017)

Joe FooteUniversity of
Elanie SteynUniversity of
Seungahn NahKorean American Communication Association (KACA)
Silvia PellegriniUC
Ralph A AkinfeleyeUniversity of
Fassy A.O. YusufJustice, Communication & Transparency Initiative,
Pascal GueneeTheophraste
Robyn GoodmanAlfred
Jennifer GreerUniversity of Alabama/
Ke GuoChina Association of Journalism and Mass Communication Education (CAJCE)
Kaarle NordenstrengGlobal Network for Professional Education in Journalism and Media (JourNet)
David BainesAssociation for Journalism Education (UK)
Verica RuparJournalism Education Association, New

Proxy votes:

Ian Richards – Journalism Education Association (Australia)