Like all journalism around the world, Chinese journalism education started with just print media but now that the times have changed, this also includes the internet and social media. Journalism in China also includes advertising, broadcasting, and mass communication as well as public relations. In general, journalism and mass communication have merged in Chinese education.
The 1920s started the roots for today’s modern journalism education in cities like Shanghai and Beijing. The western journalism practices may have influenced journalism education in China because newspapers that circulated in China were largely of colonial powers.
The five stages of the history of China’s modern journalism education are:
- The 1920s – 1940s (1st stage)
- The 1950s (2nd stage)
- The early 1960s (3rd stage)
- Cultural Revolution during 1966 to 1977 (4th stage)
- 1978 – 2000 (5th stage)
When China’s economy got thoroughly developed on a macro level, along came improvements for journalism programs in schools and the industry, merging them into “journalism and communication” as ordered by state leaders. Back then, “journalism” was only listed under the “literature” during 1949, but that all changed in 1998 when the two topics have merged and finally recognized as a systemized form of journalism education.
Challenges of Journalism and Communication Education in China
There are a couple of difficulties that journalism and communication education in China currently faces, especially in the dawn of the new era and technology. These usually come in the form of environmental changes and technological advancements as well as the administration.
A Chinese Model
Despite the journalism and communication education norms and ideas stemming from colonial influences, the Chinese people are still at the improvement stage in shaping up their Chinese model for journalism and communication.
Experts and educators in the field of journalism in China are constantly doing their social and historical research on what needs to be improved, to benefit the nation as a whole and provide global competence. These improvements are still ongoing so we can expect more to come in the few years to come when it comes to journalism and communication education in China.
Some of these improvements include seeking help from journalists from foreign countries to help them notice the dos and don’ts of the current educational standards and system of Chinese journalism and mass communication. These foreign experts also lend a hand to the Chinese educators while keeping mind their cultural differences and only focusing on the subject matter – to improve China’s communication and journalism approach as a whole.
Despite the fact that they are getting help from other countries in the field of journalism and communication being okay, the Chinese people still strive to do their research. They are systemizing their model for communication and journalism education that they can call their own – with a touch of their flavor, vibrant culture, rich history and other things that make it truly Chinese in quality.
Rather it should be a Chinese model that can fit into the Chinese social and media environments, which may lead to the creation of different teaching and research traditions for journalism and communication education, unique but appropriate to China.
A Chinese journalism model should be devised, conceptualized, realized and finally implemented so that it will adhere to the cultures, norms, traditions and social needs of the locals – to have a journalism model that they can call their own.