Journalism Education in Europe and North America/Mass Communication Education

By Bowers, Tom | Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Spring 2004 | Go to article overview
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Journalism Education in Europe and North America/Mass Communication Education


Bowers, Tom, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly


Journalism Education in Europe and North America. Romy Frohlich and Christina Holtz-Bacha, eds. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, 2003. 349 pp. $32.50 pbk.

Mass Communication Education. Michael D. Murray and Roy L. Moore, eds. Ames, IA: Iowa State Press, 2003. 445 pp. $59.99 pbk.

These books provide a comprehensive examination and analysis of selected aspects of journalism education in Europe, Canada, and the United States, and would be important additions to institutional libraries and collections.

Frohlich and Holtz-Bacha's book is a series of descriptive essays about journalism education and training systems in the United States, Canada, and several European countries. Frohlich is a professor at the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, Germany, and Holtz-Bacha is a professor of communications at the University of Mainz in Germany. Both have extensive teaching experience and have studied in the United States.

The essays are in four categories based on what the authors say is the dominant system of journalistic training in each country. One group includes countries where journalism education occurs primarily at the university level (Finland, Spain, United States, and Canada). Another consists of countries where training occurs primarily in special journalism training programs outside universities (Italy, the Netherlands, and Denmark). A third group includes countries whose systems include both universities and independent journalism schools (France, Portugal, and Germany). The fourth consists of countries where training occurs primarily in the workplace (Great Britain and Austria).

The theoretical framework of the essays is that common factors, including the nature of media and cultural, social, and economic forces, help to explain the kind of media system and dominant method of training journalists in each country. Each essay includes a brief history of the country's media system, the development of journalism education, a description of standard curricula, statistics about enrollment, and speculation about the future of journalism education in the country. Each essay includes a bibliography, and some are more extensive than others.

A separate chapter on the remaking of journalism education in Eastern Europe written by Ray Hiebert and Peter Gross is important for its examination of how journalism education was changed (or stayed the same in some aspects) after the fall of communism. In a concluding chapter, Frohlich and Holtz-Bacha speculate on the possibility of more assimilation and homogenization of journalism education in Europe.

The book makes an important contribution to the sociology of journalism-mass communication education because it compiles information about so many countries in one source. Vast regions of the globe are omitted, of course, but the task of including those regions remains for other scholars. The quantity of factual data is impressive, but there is no indication in any of the book's explanatory material that anyone other than the essay authors did any editing or fact-checking. In other words, readers seem to be wholly dependent on the individual authors for the accuracy of the information.

Murray and Moore's book has a more ambitious purpose. Stating that their book is "all about teaching," they collected twentythree descriptive essays about courses in journalism-mass communication curricula and how those courses are taught.

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