Reporting International News in a Changing World

The Significance of International Relations in Journalism Education
Rex Li

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Abstract

Despite the expansion of International Journalism (IJ) courses in the UK in recent years, there is no debate on what constitutes the knowledge base for IJ education. This article puts forward the argument that International Relations (IR) provides the most appropriate subject knowledge and understanding for journalism programmes that have an international focus. It argues that journalism educators can draw on the rich insights of IR scholars in building the knowledge base for International Journalism courses. Through a thorough consideration of the links between the academic knowledge of IR and international news reporting, the article has demonstrated that IR plays a very significant role in the education of journalism students and IJ students in particular. A review of existing journalism courses in the UK indicates that there is a greater awareness of the relevance of IR to journalism education. But the current approach is rather fragmented lacking a coherent approach to the integration of IR teaching and international journalism training. This article has advocated an integrative approach to the teaching of IR to journalism students. It provides a detailed discussion of an IR syllabus that has been incorporated into an undergraduate IJ programme. A survey of the students who have recently graduated from such a programme shows that they are appreciative of the value of having a good knowledge of IR in their journalism education.

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