Academic Work Experience
Journalistic Work Experience
What do cultural differences mean for the cross-cultural communication in journalism training as part of Communication for Development?
Between the global North and India (AT)
Journalistic training is an integral part of Media Development Cooperation (MDC). The aim and relevance of such offers is to support the journalists in developing and emerging countries as the so-called fourth power of democracy or to build and strengthen democracies with their help. Thus, journalists have a key role to play, which explains the concentration of MDC on the internationally highly regarded and highly demanded journalistic education. The MDC and journalism trainings are a work across national and cultural borders. Both trainers and trainees are from and traveling to different countries. The funds and offers of MDC come mainly from the global north, such as the USA, UK and Europe. The receivers are located in the global South, focusing on Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
The cross-cultural work is rarely reflected or prepared. Both trainers and trainees are rarely trained in their cross-cultural competence. Journalistic values and journalistic work are also often regarded as universal and cultural differences are almost ignored. Also, the possible influence of the former colonization by countries from the global north of countries of the global South as well as the hierarchical disparity of the MDC donor countries and their recipient countries is not considered enough. My approach is to take all this into account according to the international and cross-border working journalists (trainers and trainees), the quality of journalistic trainings and the legitimacy of the MDC and their journalistic trainings itself.
My research questions are: When and how do national and cultural differences become clear in the dialogues and how will they be dealt with? What significance do these differences have for the exchange or to what extent do they influence the negotiation and content of the journalistic trainings? The methods of my research: Participatory observation in selected trainings, conversation analysis of their dialogues, reconstructive (problem-centred) interviews of the actors from the trainings, as well as expert interviews with the organizers of the trainings and leaders of the organizations with questions on their own relevance-experiences of cultural differences and cross-cultural competence. The approach: qualitative, open and theory-generating method, inductively derived object-anchored theory.
Prof. Dr. Barbara Thomaß, Ruhr-Universität Bochum