New, Bold and Tenuous: Ethiopian Journalism Education


  • R.S. Kip Wotkyns III Metropolitan State University of Denver



In Ethiopia, Aksum University professors, staff and administrators are building a brand-new journalism department, one that teaches core literacy skills, but also stresses responsible journalism, based on independence, accuracy, and verification. They are grappling with a rapidly changing landscape, desperately trying to keep up. They face political, environmental and technology challenges, plus a freshly imposed state of emergency, because of widespread civil unrest. This paper is baseline research measuring the student experience of the new Journalism and Communications Department at Aksum University, in Axum Ethiopia. The first year of the roll out of the Department was the 2015-16 academic year. I had the privilege to be the first, foreign, visiting professor. I taught an Introduction to Journalism and Communication course in December 2015. This work is based on those experiences and uses a well-tested survey template, customized to the task. The survey sample included all of the 1 st year students. The result is an uncommon glimpse, into the nascent phase of journalism instruction at Aksum University, Axum Ethiopia.


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