When Magnolia Santos saw an ad about the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas’ new course on online journalism for instructors, she knew she wanted to participate.
As the coordinator for the news agency Agência de Notícias Ciênci@lagoas, Santos said, she works with an inexperienced team in need of digital training.
“I’m passing along this new knowledge to my team,” she said. “And I want to implement some of these tools in the Agência Ciênci@lagoas. I want us to act more on social networks to disseminate science and technology from the Northeast. I also want to interact more with my classmates from the course, professors of journalism from around Brazil. I hope to participate in the meetings of teachers and researchers in the (online journalism) field in the country.”
The course Santos participated in, Journalism 2.0 for Instructors, ran April 5-May 2, 2010, and was taught by Brazilian journalist and professor Carlos Castilho. This was the first time the Knight Center offered this course, which aimed to help instructors teach online journalism. Forty-seven people from Brazil and Portugal participated in the course.
Castilho, who translated into Portuguese the book by U.S. journalist Mark Briggs: “Journalism 2.0: How to Survive and Thrive: A Digital Literacy Guide for the Information Age,” said the main goal of the course was to “raise among the participants a concern for the changes that the Internet and the Web are provoking in the practice of journalism, and how these changes affect the education of new professionals.”
For more course details, see the Course Information Sheet.
Miguel Crespo, a professor at the Center for the Professional Training of Journalists in Portugal, also participated in the course.
“I realized the context of teaching online journalism in Brazil, and also I discovered a lot of work being done that I did not know about and now I can go deeper, more and better,” he said.
Already, Crespo said, he is using what he learned in the course in the classes he teaches.
“I’ll try the suggested procedures by colleagues, and further the creation of collective and cooperative work,” he said.
Throughout the course, participants learned about the challenges of teaching online journalism, instructing techniques, online journalism tools, and themes related to the controversial transition from traditional to online journalism.
For Santos, the most important part of the course was expanding her understanding of what can be done in terms of online journalism, from the production of stories and the creation of databases, to the organization of online sources; publishing of audio, photos, and videos; and the use of social networks like Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Facebook and Second Life.
“Before the course, I didn’t have an understanding of such endless possibilities,” she said. “I am more aware and fascinated with digital journalism and I plan to always improve.”
Castilho, a professional journalist with 35 years of experience in newspapers, radio stations, and news agencies, currently teaches university courses on online journalism in Brazil. He has worked as a TV news director, and was a foreign correspondent for Brazilian and European publications. Since 1995 he has been dedicated to the production of journalistic content for the Web.
The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin was launched in 2002 by professor Rosental Calmon Alves. Thanks to generous grants from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the center has assisted thousands of journalists in Latin America and the Caribbean. For more information, contact the Knight Center’s program manager, Jennifer Potter-Miller at email@example.com or +1 512 471-1391.