DIT to provide journalism training in Bulgaria

DIT is a member of the BBC-led consortium that has won an important EU contract to 'Improve professional standards of journalism in Bulgaria'. The project starts in January 2004 for one year and has a budget of €1.3 million.

One of the pre-requisites for application for membership of the EU is the existence of a free and professional media. This project, funded under the EU Phare programme, is intended to enhance professional journalism standards in Bulgaria.

The project focusses on four strands of activities: developing a code of conduct for journalists, improving human resources management in media organisations, providing professional training for practising journalists and modernising journalism training at university level.

DIT's principal involvement in the project from next January will be in the area of university training for journalists. Michael Foley, DIT lecturer in journalism, has been selected by the consortium as their key expert on university curriculum and will be prominently involved in the programme.

Six consortia tendered for the project, including representation from some of Europe's best-known schools of journalism. The winning consortium is led by the BBC and includes DIT's Department of Communications and Journalism; the International Federation of Journalists; the University of Leipzig; Hulla & Co. Human Dynamics, Vienna; and the Media Development Centre, Bulgaria. The invitation to participate in the consortium arose from a paper delivered by Nora French, Head of the Department of Communications and Journalism, DIT at the University of Sofia last year.

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