Practice meets Academia

2020 fome ”Jour fixe“ invited Medas 21 scholars

The 2020 ”Jour fixe“ of the Forum Media and Development (fome) was dedicated to ‘Practice meets Science’. Three fellows of Medas 21 were invited to present first research results, and to discuss them with the members of the media assistance organisations represented in the fome network. MEDAS 21 is a post graduate programme that actively seeks to contribute to solving problems of practical relevance in international media development assistance. The programme’s academic home is three institutes of the University Alliance Ruhr (IfJ Dortmund, IfM Bochum, IfK Duisburg-Essen). Their perspectives combine journalism studies, media studies and communication studies. Currently, seven fellows are part of the programme, pursuing their doctorates at the intersection of academic theory and practical application. While conducting research projects in regions such as Sub-Saharan Africa or the Indian subcontinent, the fellows entertain close relationships with media development practitioners from specific partner organisations. Each of the scholarship holders is closely linked to a media development organisation.

Michel Leroy, who made a presentation on “Interrelations between community radios’ sustainability and professionalisation in development context – a comparative study in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda” is partnering with CAMECO, in addition to Media in Conflict and Transition (MICT) and the Swiss Fondation Hirondelle. Michel is interested “in the impact of media development and the challenges that are raised to those who contribute to it, whether they are an international donor, the community itself, private investments or endogenous processes of change”. In particular, he aims “to identify the conditions under which revenue generation in community radio stations contributes to their professionalization and actually sustains them – considering sustainability in its various dimensions and not only economic viability”. Also invited were Roja Zaitoonie: From idea to reality? The UN efforts on media development in fragile and (post-) conflict contexts, and Mira Kessler: Different experiences in journalism trainings as part of media development between the global North and South.

The ”Jour fixe“ is organised annually by the members of the Forum Media and Development as a meeting for internal exchange and discussion, in addition to the international symposium which is also held annually. On 24th March, 2020, it was organised as online meeting by the fome coordinator Sofie Jannusch (CAMECO) in cooperation with MICT. (asj)