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What the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light about journalism education in Zambia: A reflexive analysis of the transition to online teaching and learning

Elastus Mambwe 1 *
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1 Department of Media and Communication Studies, School of Humanities & Social Sciences, University of Zambia, Lusaka, ZAMBIA* Corresponding Author
Journal of Digital Educational Technology, 4(1), 2024, ep2412, https://doi.org/10.30935/jdet/14474
Published: 17 April 2024
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ABSTRACT

This paper cogitates and reflects on some of the lessons learned about journalism and mass communication education in Zambia following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. It highlights specific observations from the experience of teaching journalism, mass communication and media studies courses in the wake of the globally menacing pandemic within the context of a country in the global South with limited resources and a traditional approach to journalism education. The paper combines thoughts from reflexive autoethnography based on professional positionality, buttressed by selected literature on teaching and learning in higher education during the pandemic, and insights from selected journalism educators in the country. The paper uncovers six critical reflection points or lessons pertinent to post-pandemic journalism education. These are: (a) there are still low levels of digital readiness in journalism schools; (b) distance education for journalism and mass communication is not easy but not at all impossible; (c) digital literacy for both faculty members and students in journalism schools must be scaled up; (d) persistent digital inequalities characterise higher education, including journalism education; (e) exceedingly low levels of training in science and health reporting/coverage are still prevalent; and lastly (f), there is need to rethink how student internships and attachment programs can best be conducted in times of crisis. In addition to these observations, the paper argues for a holistic approach to digital transformation to address many of these and other challenges.

CITATION (APA)

Mambwe, E. (2024). What the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light about journalism education in Zambia: A reflexive analysis of the transition to online teaching and learning. Journal of Digital Educational Technology, 4(1), ep2412. https://doi.org/10.30935/jdet/14474

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