June 5, 2006

Knight Center Concludes Online Course in Spanish: Covering Elections

The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas has concluded its latest online course for Latin American journalists, Electoral Coverage and Democracy. The instructor, María Teresa Ronderos, is an internationally recognized Colombian journalist with a specialty in political science. The six-week course began June 27 and ended Aug. 7, 2006.

The class was free of charge and took place entirely online. The topics covered were:

*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.

Students viewed videotaped lectures, participated in discussions and performed exercises for the course at their own pace, and following their own schedules. All students who completed the course will receive a certificate from the Knight Center.

Electoral Coverage and Democracy was one of several courses offered in Spanish by the Knight Center as part of its distance education program, which also offers courses in English and Portuguese.

The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas was created by Professor Rosental Calmon Alves of 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.

Its principal objective is to help journalists in the hemisphere to develop their own self-sustaining training programs that will raise professional and ethical standards of journalism in the Americas.