The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ), and its partner organization in the Caucasus -- the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA) administered a two-year Master's-level certificate program at the Caucasus School of Journalism and Media Management. The overall goal of the graduate-level program was to strengthen the role of independent media in the emerging democratic societies of the Caucasus.
The intensive and full-time course program provided hands-on, practical training in basic journalism skills using the latest techniques of fact-based, professional reporting and writing for both print and broadcast media. In addition, courses were offered in journalism ethics, the role of media in a democratic society and computer assisted reporting. There was also an emphasis on management techniques and key knowledge fields such as economics and the judiciary. Courses in specialized fields were also offered. Texts and training materials relevant to the Georgian, Azeri and Armenian context were provided. Students had access to state-of-the-art facilities, including a computer lab, photo, radio and TV cameras and broadcast editing bays, high-speed Internet, and a journalism library. Students produced radio and TV newscasts and documentaries, photo reportages, magazines, and the Brosse Street Journal, a student newspaper in print and the electronic versions ( www.bsj.ge).
Areas covered in the 20-month curriculum included:
Principles of journalism
Reporting and writing
Professional standards and ethics of journalism
Design, publication and photo journalism
Business, courts and legal, election and political, energy, utilities and environmental reporting
Television production theory and practice
Role of advertising
Intensive English-language training
Writing in English and Georgian
The core faculty consisted of experienced U.S. print and broadcast journalists who provided practical professional training in a classroom environment, supplemented by closely supervised student projects, case study analysis and hands-on experience. The U.S. faculty was supplemented by local faculty and experts.
The core program was carried out at GIPA, located conveniently at Brosse Street in downtown Tbilisi. It provided classrooms, computers with Internet access, faculty workspace and administrative support facilities.
To provide adequate opportunities for hands-on experience, the program required students to contribute to _Brosse Street Journal, a student-run newspaper that serves as an outlet for students to publish articles and experience the challenges of managing an actual publication. A system of working internships at local, regional and international media outlets was also in place.
Project Partners and Donors:
The journalism faculty and curriculum for the school was provided by the International Center for Journalists, a Washington-based journalism organization, with the cooperation of Louisiana State University Manship School of Mass Communication and Ecole superieur de journalisme de Lille. The program was funded by the U.S. Department of State, with supplementary funding from the Open Society Institute. The Embassies of Great Britain, Poland and France in Georgia provided in-kind contribution.