Parsons Leads Session at Singapore Conference

Dean Paul Parsons of the School of Communications led a session on program assessment at the inaugural World Journalism Education Congress in Singapore, which attracted more than 400 delegates from 45 nations from June 25-28, 2007.

Journalism administrators from around the world attended the session featuring panelists from China, the United Arab Emirates and the United States. The panelists described how assessment -- the process of determining if students are learning what we want them to learn -- has become a mandate in the educational systems of many nations.

The World Journalism Education Congress was conceived by 29 journalism education organizations globally, ranging from South Africa to India and from Israel to Denmark. Highlights included the drafting and issuance of a Declaration of Universal Journalism Principles, a preliminary report on a global census under way on journalism education, and a model journalism curriculum for developing nations issued by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Former CNN reporter Peter Arnett, now teaching in China, was a keynote speaker, with research sessions focusing on digital free speech and media coverage of war.

The Congress was held in conjunction with the 16th annual conference of the Asian Media Information and Communication Centre, which is housed at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Elon has a student exchange program with the Singapore university.

"This was an exciting World Congress," Parsons said. "We discovered that we have much more in common than we thought. Freedom of expression is a byword for journalism educators worldwide, and so is the need to provide our students both intellectual foundations and journalistic skills."


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