'Media and Politics 2.0'
Political scientist Rebekah Tromble has been awarded a fellowship and seat at the Leiden University Teachers' Academy. She will use the associated facilities to innovate her 'Politics and Media' course. The ambition is to find new ways for students to deepen their knowledge about the role of media (old and new) in present-day society—not only by studying this phenomenon, but also by actively engaging in journalism and modern media work themselves, as citizen journalists.
‘I’m glad my bid for a fellowship at the Teachers' Academy was succesful’, says Tromble. ‘After all, it is an honour, a recognition of one's craftsmanship. More importantly, the benefits that come with it will enable me to take my teaching one step further—from studying what journalists do to actually engaging in their work ourselves.’ Tromble explains that the classic approach—reading, writing, lectures, exams—has its merits, but ‘rethinking journalism’ ideally also involves first-hand experience. ‘Analysing and criticising the media is one thing; identifying gaps in media coverage and reporting on relevant, complex issues yourself is quite another.’
Designing, organising and running ‘Media and Politics 2.0’ will be quite a challenge. Tromble intends to take on board expertise other than her own, ranging from representatives from current citizen media initiatives to professional journalists and information technology specialists. In addition, she will investigate the potential added value of digital collaboration platforms. Tromble expects that she can start implementing some of her ideas from the 2016-2017 academic year onwards.
The Teachers’ Academy aims to improve the quality of education at Leiden University and to innovate education by utilising the qualities of prominent teachers. The Teaching Fellows advise the Executive Board of the University in matters of education quality and innovation. The Academy started in October 2014 with ten Fellows. About five new members will be appointed each year for a period of five years. Ultimately, the Academy will continuously comprise about 25 members.