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Between the Newsroom and the Classroom

Mohammed El-Nawawy
Published: 1 February 2007

Abstract: This study surveyed a convenience sample of journalism educators at Arab universities and journalism practitioners at daily Arab newspapers in Egypt and Jordan to determine the degree of alignment between journalism theory and practice in both countries. The researcher adapted, with some modifications, three scales by Dickson and Brandon to compare the perceptions of educators to those of practitioners regarding the importance of the following aspects for preparing journalism graduates for entry-level journalism positions: types of media-related courses, journalism competencies, practices adopted by academic journalism programs and qualifications of journalism faculty. Results showed that while educators agreed with professionals on most journalistic competencies and practices that ought to be taught by academic journalism programs in Egypt and Jordan, educators' rankings of courses on media theory, journalism skills and ICT were significantly higher than those of professionals. The study also revealed that most journalism educators and practitioners believed that there was a gap between journalism education and professionalism in Egypt and Jordan. Respondents' answers to the open-ended questions suggested some ways to bridge this gap.
Keywords: entry-level journalism positions / journalism education / journalism practice / journalism professionalism / journalism theory / journalistic skills / nepotism

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