De-Westernising journalism curricula in South African universities: Where are we?

Dr Bevelyn Dube graduated with a PhD degree in Journalism from Stellenbosch University (SU) in December 2013. She is a lecturer at the University of Venda. Her address at the Universities Curriculum Workshop was titled “Confronting the Challenges of Africanising Curriculum in Media Disciplines”, and was hosted by Wits University.

Dr Dube’s paper interrogated the reasons journalism curricula in South African universities remain deeply embedded in Western epistemologies and philosophies. This is despite the fact that calls to de-Westernise journalism education and training curricula have been a major narrative in South Africa’s transformation discourses since 1994. Dr Dube highlighted that journalism education and training institutions have held conferences, colloquia, seminars and symposia to try and find ways to de-Westernise journalism curricula and, yet, no visible or significant progress has been made. The paper delivered at the Wits Conference, reflected on and examined the possible reasons why transformation has not yet taken place in journalism curricula. Dr Dube argued that South African scholars are calling for the de-Westernisation of journalism curricula in an extremely complex context, which, together with the grammars used to express what we want to achieve with our curricula make for a complicated arena. The paper also raised questions about the capacity of journalism scholars to challenge the hegemonic power of Western epistemologies especially in view of the fact that most of them are either Western-trained or have been taught and trained by Western-educated trainers.

Download her full paper De-Westernising journalism curricula in South African universities.

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