January 8, 2010

Journalists can apply for online course in Spanish ‘Electoral Coverage and Democracy’

This post is also available in: English Spanish Portuguese (Brazil)

The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas will offer ‘Electoral Coverage and Democracy,’ from Feb. 1–March 7, 2010. Spanish-speaking journalists from Latin America and the Caribbean can apply online until Jan. 17.

The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin will offer as part of its spring course schedule: ‘Electoral Coverage and Democracy,’ beginning February 1 and ending March 7.

This free, six-week class, was created by María Teresa Ronderos, an internationally recognized Colombian journalist specialized in political science. Ronderos is director of Semana.com and president of Colombia’s Freedom of the Press Foundation (FLIP). Space in the course is limited, and preference is given to journalists who are working full-time for print or electronic media, have at least three years of experience, and limited opportunities for professional development.

Course topics include:

  • Problems with democracies and the role of journalists
  • How to cover elections for citizens, not politicians
  • The candidates: knowledge leads to good electoral decisions
  • How journalists can contribute to the freedom and legitimacy of elections
  • How to help voters understand candidates’ agendas.
  • Proper use of polls

Requirements to participate include:

  • Basic knowledge of common software: Office, WinZip, Adobe Acrobat, and Explorer or another Internet browser
  • Access to a computer with cable modem or high bandwidth
  • A commitment of 10-15 hours a week, and no concurrent participation in any other class.

The course is conducted entirely online and is divided into weekly modules that contain audio and PowerPoint lectures, theoretical background, and useful online resources. Weekly exercises will be performed through discussion forums and other class assignments.

Participants may study at their own pace and according to their own schedules, but they will be expected to meet weekly deadlines. Students who complete the course will receive a certificate of participation from the Knight Center.

The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas was created by Professor Rosental Calmon Alves at the University of Texas at Austin School of Journalism in August 2002 thanks to a generous donation from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.