Frå skulebenk til deadlines. Korleis nettjournalistar og journaliststudentar lærer, og korleis dei utviklar journalistfagleg kunnskap
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This study examines how journalist students and online journalists learn informally, and understand and develop knowledge through education and practice. I have investigated (1) the role of practical knowledge and how the students develop through educational activities, and (2) how online journalists learn through worklife experiences.
The research is motivated by the following overaching research problem: What characterizes the learning processes of the journalist and what does this mean for the development of journalist professional knowledge? This represents the backdrop for the following three research questions: (1) What characterizes the framework conditions for action and learning in worklife settings in relation to the environment that online journalists interact with and in relation to work-specific tasks? (2) What is the role of critical reflection in relation to the development of the professional journalist and what impact does this have on developing practical knowledge? Moreover: (3) How does journalism students understand and utilize their practical experiences during educational activities and how is this knowledge expressed? Each of the three research questions has been addressed by descriptive data and presented through three articles, respectively.
The purpose of the first research question is to contribute to the understanding of workplace learning, with a focus on the non-formal learning that takes place among online journalists. The focus of this article is journalists working in an online newspaper and their experiences with workplace and non-formal learning, centring on framework conditions and learning environments. The empirical data in this article are based on qualitative interviews conducted with journalists working in an online newspaper in the Western part of Norway. The sample comprises of five informants. The interviews are based on a combination of open-ended and more specific questions where the aim was to get a broad perspective on the informants’ experiences [with?] workplace non-formal learning and to investigate alternative perspectives that emerged during the interviews. The findings indicate that a theory of online journalists’ workplace learning should take into account the fact that learning, in this context, takes place at various levels of conscious awareness, encompassing cognitive, behavioural, motivational and emotional aspects.
The second research question offers a view of how journalism students in higher education conceptualize and develop critical reflection in the meeting between student and teacher. Critical reflection is seen as a key asset in journalism and a key process in bringing together practice and knowledge, thus closing the gap between theory and practice. In an attempt to understand how critical reflection is developed, a field study was conducted in a bachelor's programme in journalism, where 1 teacher and 12 students were observed and interviewed during two semesters in the students’ second year.
The third research question investigates and discusses how journalism students who have been working as journalists use this work experience in their education. The emphasis is on how students in a bachelor's programme in journalism utilize their work-life experiences and practical knowledge in learning activities, and how this knowledge is expressed. The article presents students who are still beginning practitioners of journalism. With the concept of tacit knowing as the backdrop, the paper investigates how the students reflect on the basis of their decisions. Concepts from scientific research on practical knowledge by Donald Schön serves as the analytical tools. Michael Polanyi's concepts of proximal and distal knowing serves as guiding tools for an understanding of the specific actions (proximal) involved in the students' work with their assignments and how such actions contribute to the students' evaluations of the value of a news story.