Media24 plans to spend “millions” on its new Journalism Academy which aims to recognise, train, develop and integrate young journalists into the industry.
align=justifyCity Press editor-in-chief, Mathatha Tsedu, will head up this initiative. “It is a reality that due to the migration of experienced journalists, we are relying more on younger journos who are not equipped to be functional immediately.
align=justify”Youngster’s are ill-prepared for serious work and are becoming the back bone of newsrooms, which is very dangerous. Therefore, the company decided to harness all our current editorial (educational) programmes to establish this academy,” he says.
align=justifyThe academy, which will be based in Media Park in Johannesburg, will offer 20 graduates the opportunity to receive hands-on training from Media24 journalists. These students will spend five days a week for 18 months receiving theoritical training and the opportunity to sit in and learn from actual newsrooms in radio, print, online and television. The academy will also upgrade the skills of current journalists, in the form of refresher courses.
align=justifyTsedu says that it has not been determined which Media24 journalists will assist in this project but “the idea is to get the best possible teacher to give training in their specific field”.R
align=justifyHaving completed the 18 months, Media24 cannot guarantee job placement. “The whole idea is to create a pool that Media24 can utilise when there are vacancies in the company, but job placement is not a part of their contract.”R
align=justifyWhile he says that it will cost “millions” to fund this project, he adds that the company is “still working on the budget. The salaries of the students alone will cost R1.4-million (one year)”.R
align=justifyTsedu will move over from City Press on October 1, but he says the entire process of setting up the academy will take about three months. “We have to call for applicants, recruit the graduates and set up the academy. I expect that will be operational in February (2009).”R
align=justifyThe position of editor-in-chief of City Press will remain vacant for the time being.