Online Master’s Degree in Digital Media a First in Latin America

Jan 312012
  • The University of Guadalajara's new online Master's Degree in Digital Journalism makes new digital skills accessible for Spanish-speaking journalists in the United States, throughout Latin America, and elsewhere. (Photo Courtesy: University of Guadalajara)

The University of Guadalajara’s Digital Journalism Center, launched by Knight International Journalism Fellow James Breiner, is now offering the first online master's degree in digital media in Latin America.

“This new degree is particularly important because students can access the training they need from anywhere,” said Rosalía Orozco, director of the Digital Journalism Center. The Spanish-language program emphasizes advanced training in new media skills and coverage of important social issues such as poverty, education and the environment, said Orozco, who was appointed to lead the center when Breiner’s fellowship ended last year.

Since the center opened in Guadalajara, Mexico, in 2008, 665 journalists and other media professionals from more than 25 countries have enrolled in its “blended” programs that combine online and in-person training. The new master’s curriculum, designed by Breiner and an academic committee of the university, concentrates on entrepreneurial journalism – teaching students how to launch and run a digital media organization. It includes courses on creating marketing and business plans to sustain a robust digital news operation.

“Most journalists in Latin America chafe at the limitations and censorship imposed in many countries,” Breiner said. “Independent, online media can offer an alternative, and cover topics often neglected by mainstream media – everything from human rights and indigenous cultures to local business, women’s issues, as well as engaging in watchdog investigative journalism.”

Knight Fellows work on projects that are designed to have lasting impact. With a five year commitment from the university, a new director and new online graduate program, the Digital Journalism Center is now a thriving organization on its own.

The center is accepting applications for the master’s degree program now. Classes are scheduled to begin in March.