24 Apr 2008 17:26

Higher School of Economics and Key Russian News Agencies Interfax and RIA Novosti Setting Up Journalism School

Russia‘s Higher School of Economics and key Russian news agencies Interfax and RIA Novosti have unveiled a joint project to set up a journalist-training facility to be named the School of Multimedia Journalism.

The planned school will enroll people of various occupations who are citizens of Russia or other countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States, already have a higher education, work in journalism and seek to improve their journalistic skills.

The school‘s curriculum and syllabus are based on European principles and are as close to daily journalistic work as possible.

The main task of the project is to teach students skills such as adapting news for publication via the various media - the press, radio, television and the Internet.

The graduates will receive state-approved qualifications as correspondents or editors for news or multimedia agencies.

The School of Multimedia Journalism will use the educational resources of the Higher School of Economics, which has the status of a state university and is considered one of Russia‘s best economic higher educational establishments.

Media industry leaders with their many years of experience are involved in the project, and Higher School of Economics lecturers with their high professional standards will teach at the School of Multimedia Journalism.

"Our line of business, which possesses a whole number of specific characteristics, needs well-trained personnel, something that, unfortunately, we cannot always find in the labor market," said Mikhail Komissar, Interfax’s Chairman of the Board of Directors. "The unique nature of our joint project is that it is specifically designed to meet the needs of news journalism and is characterized by a close link between training and practice."

"The intensive development of the Internet segment of the media is largely the result of the use of multimedia technologies by traditional printed and electronic mass media," said Svetlana Mironyuk, chief editor of RIA Novosti. "Modern journalism needs people who can skillfully use the advantages of various formats of news reporting. Demand for such people will grow rapidly, and we are pleased to be taking part not only in creating this demand but also in satisfying it."

"Our joint project is in effect one of the efficient forms of possible relations between our higher educational institution and leading industrial groups: joint enrollment, a brief syllabus that meets the needs of agencies and is in line with the nature of their work, a maximum amount of practice, state-approved qualifications, and prospects for employment. We expect a long-term partnership," said Yaroslav Kuzminov, rector of the Higher School of Economics.

The school will offer a one-year, two-semester course with examinations after each semester. A student will also have to submit a final paper at the end of the course. The course also involves practical work at RIA Novosti and Interfax. Practical work at these agencies‘ branches in CIS, Baltic and European countries, China and the United States is a possibility.

Students will not only acquire unique knowledge on the theory and sociology of the media industry, media economics, international relations and the politics, economies and cultures of various countries.

They will also master all stages of the work of a news agency, including the technological aspects of work with newswires, the operation of correspondents‘ bureaus, Internet journalism and work with audio and video information.

The curriculum includes lectures on key fields of multimedia and business journalism by leading lecturers at the Higher School of Economics and Moscow State University; master classes by leading journalists at RIA Novosti and Interfax; and training skills of work with sources of information and newsmakers and with texts for various types of media outlets.