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Koers

On-line version ISSN 2304-8557
Print version ISSN 0023-270X

Koers (Online) vol.74 n.1-2 Pretoria  2009

 

COMMUNICATION

 

Teaching journalism prior to and after the demise of Christian higher education at Potchefstroom

 

Die onderrig van joernalistiek voor en na die beëindiging van Christelike hoër onderwys op Potchefstroom

 

 

J.D. Froneman; T. Swanepoel

School of Communication Studies, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, Potchefstroom. E-mail: jd.froneman@nwu.ac.za, Swanepo@olivet.edu

 

 


ABSTRACT

This article explores how the step-by-step changes to the Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education (resulting in the merger with the University of the North-West to form the North-West University [NWU]) impacted on the teaching of journalism at the Potchefstroom Campus. It was particularly relevant in 2009, as 50 years of teaching journalism and other communication subjects were celebrated by the School of Communication Studies on the Potchefstroom Campus of the NWU. The article thus also has a definite historiographical intention - more specifically as an attempt at writing micro-historiography. It aims to illustrate how a definite Christian perspective on journalism was substituted for a slimmer "value-driven" approach sans an explisit religious dimension. Although it has been suggested by the vice-chancellor that lecturers had the right to express their views in class (including views based on Christian principles), it is argued here that the termination of the formal Christian approach made it very difficult, if not impossible, for lecturers to continue as in the past. As a result of the value-driven approach professional and institutional ethical codes are now used as a basic point of departure. This, however, does not satisfy those who prefer a more fundamental Christian approach to journalism. It is suggested that if this reading of the situation was erroneous, perhaps those Christians with a more positive view of the "name change" could give clearer leadership on how Christian perspectives on science (and journalism) can realistically be accommodated in the curriculum.

Key concepts: Christian perspectives; journalism, teaching of; Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education; values


OPSOMMING

Hierdie artikel ondersoek hoe die stap-vir-stapveranderings by die Potchefstroomse Universiteit vir Christelike Hoër Onderwys (wat uitgeloop het op die samesmelting met die Universiteit van Noordwes om die Noordwes-Universiteit [NWU] te vorm) 'n invloed gehad het op joernalistiekopleiding op die Potchef-stroomkampus. Dit is besonder relevant in die konteks van die 50-jarige viering in 2009 van joernalistiek- en kommunikasie-opleiding deurdie Skool virKommunikasiestudies op die Potchefstroomkampus. Die artikel het dus 'n pertinent historiografiese bedoeling - meer spesifiek is dit 'n poging tot mikro-historiografie. Dit streef daarna om aan te toon hoe 'n definitiewe Christelike perspektief op die joernalistiek plek gemaak het vir 'n verskraalde, religielose "waardegedrewe" benadering. Alhoewel die visekanselier van die NWU meen dat dosente die reg het om hulle standpunte in die klas te stel (insluitend standpunte gegrond op Christelike beginsels), word hier aange-voer dat die beëindiging van 'n formele Christelike benadering dit baie moeilik, indien nie onmoontlik nie, gemaak het om voort te gaan soos in die verlede. As 'n uitvloeisel van die waardegedrewe benadering word professionele en institusionele etiese kodes nou as vertrekpunte gebruik. Maar dit bevredig nie diegene wat verbind is tot 'n meer fundamenteel-Christelike benadering tot die joernalistiek nie. Daarom word gesuggereer dat indien hierdie siening van sake foutief is, diegene met 'n meer positiewe kyk op die "naamsverandering" duideliker leiding kan gee oor hoe Christelike perpektiewe op die wetenskap (en joernalistiek) realisties gesproke binne die leerplan geakkommodeer kan word.

Kernbegrippe: Christelike perspektiewe; joernalistiek, onderrig van; Potchefstroomse Universiteit vir Christelike Hoër Onderwys; waardes


 

 

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