Training needs vary from country to country as a function of a wide range of factors, most of which will be discussed in this chapter. It needs to be said at the outset, however, that this chapter will deal only with general concepts and definitions common to most cultures and not specific to any individual country or region. A more detailed analysis of individual needs will be given in later chapters.
The first question that should be addressed is a definitional one. Are we discussing training needs for journalism, mass communication or communication as a whole? In general, terminology reflects successive developments in communication structures. At the beginning of the century, at a time when mass communication was virtually limited to the printed media, the first training establishments were called schools of journalism and were largely devoted to producing recruits for the newspaper industry, which needed reporters, editors, layout people and photographers. The film industry, which can certainly be regarded as a mass medium but not perhaps as a channel for the deliberate delivery of specific messages, had its own apprentice-type training systems concentrating almost exclusively on the technical aspects of cinematography.
Over the years, with the appearance of radio and television, new needs have emerged, and schools of journalism have adapted their programs to include broadcast production and broadcast news courses. Some of these courses are strictly technical, but the broadcast media have also developed