transfer 24(2) » Journalismus

Assessing the Inculcation of Entrepreneurial Competencies in the Journalism Curriculum. A Case Study of Journalism teaching institutions in Cameroon.

The media industry has witnessed significant transformation that has largely been facilitated by the influx of technology and changes in the definition and characteristics of a journalist. The quest for self-sustenance, the need for business acumen and the changing complexion of the media landscape have far-reaching consequences for journalistic pursuits. Nonetheless, the relevance of innovative and entrepreneurial skills has been identified as an increasingly important component that will condition journalistic ventures in the future. The previous assertion projects perplexing questions: Does the journalism curriculum in Cameroon impart skills for innovation and entrepreneurship? Are journalism students adequately prepared for an industry which emphasizes innovation and entrepreneurship? This study made use of a qualitative technique based on the Learning-by-doing approach advanced by Lackeus to gauge the type of entrepreneurial education and the method of transmitting entrepreneurial, as well as technological competencies to journalism students in Cameroon. The works of Lackeus (2015), Berrets and Philips (2016) and Çatal (2017) were used to formulate an interview guideline.

To obtain data, this study conducted 5 Semi-in-depth interviews with lecturers from 5 journalism/communication institutions in Cameroon. Findings suggest that instructors in journalism teaching institutions are aware about the relevance of entrepreneurial skills. However, infrastructural impediments, the shortage and in most cases, the absence of skilled teachers have prevented the effective implementation of certain measures. Furthermore, the use of various pedagogical methods ensures that entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial needs are satisfied nonetheless, cognitive competencies are fulfilled in a more external, rather than internal manner. Again, technological necessities were recognized as important, but scarce. On the other hand, participants identified the increasing need for inter-departmental collaboration with departments that have a relevance to journalism, with meagre attempts trying to satisfy this being made. That not withstanding, a lack of adequate resources from various stakeholders in most of the institutions is noticeable and highlighted as a hindrance to the effective transmission of entrepreneurial competencies. Conclusively, this study can deepen academic understanding of entrepreneurial education and serve as a compass for future research about the presence or absence of entrepreneurial knowledge in journalism curriculum across African countries.