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Training the new generation of European journalists

Submitted by on April 26, 2011 – 16:33No Comment

In 2005, French radio reporter Lau­rence Aubron, wit­nessed her coun­try fel­low­men reject the Con­sti­tu­tional Treaty. “She was struck by the the dis­tance between the cit­i­zens and the EU and decided to try to bridge the gap” explains her col­league Cyrille Douilard.

In order to train the new gen­er­a­tion of Euro­pean jour­nal­ists, she cre­ated Eur@dionantes a school radio designed to link the local level in Nantes and the Euro­pean level.

Jour­nal­ists from all over Europe come to the six-month train­ing in West­ern France. “It’s inter­est­ing because they look at the local news dif­fer­ently than we do” says Cyrille.

A for­mer local radio reporter, Cyrille joined the radio three years ago. He is still pretty much involved in the local news with Eura­dio­nantes and coor­di­nates the edu­ca­tional programme.

“On their first week, I bring all our stu­dents up-to-speed on Nantes and the region” he points out. “But not in a class­room. I have a sheet of paper with all the infor­ma­tion on it and then we get out of the build­ing. We go to the City Hall when I give a class on Nante’s local insti­tu­tions and like­wise for the Depart­ment and Region.” Cyrille calls it appre­hend­ing the ter­ri­tory: “At least they see how to get from the news­room into Nantes and the key insti­tu­tions”.

Before he became a trainer at Eura­dio­nantes, Cyrille always tried to put local news into con­text “be it national or Euro­pean.” He tells that the first exer­cise he gives to the stu­dents is putting Nantes’ his­tory into a broader con­text: “I bring them to the local museum on the city’s his­tory. For instance, Nantes was an impor­tant port of the African slave trade. So that’s a very good way of link­ing the town’s his­tory and the greater scheme of things.”

The orig­i­nal edi­to­r­ial line of Eura­dio­nantes is also an impor­tant thing in the region. “Our stu­dents are always wel­comed by the locals. The thing is they ask dif­fer­ent ques­tions from other sta­tions” Cyrille states. Find­ing the link between the regional news and Euro­pean deci­sions is not alway easy, but the teach­ers keep track of their stu­dents’ progress through a monthly eval­u­a­tion. In Nantes, a lot of the social organ­i­sa­tions already knew how to inter­act with the Euro­pean insti­tu­tions, some learned along the way, “but there’s still work to do” exclaims Cyrille.

A Bel­gian experiment

In Louvain-la-neuve (Bel­gium), radio reporter Anne-Sophie Bruyn­don­ckx has just started a local Euro­pean project some­what sim­i­lar to Eura­dio­nante. The sta­tion named LN FM was cre­ated in part­ner­ship with three uni­ver­si­ties: IHECS, UCL’s School of Jour­nal­ism and the IAD. “The three schools will use the radio as a prac­ti­cal train­ing tool for their stu­dents in Euro­pean jour­nal­ism (UCL and IHECS), radio ani­ma­tion, pro­duc­tion and direc­tion (IAD). There they can be reporters and radio hosts, whereas in big media com­pa­nies they usu­ally can’t when they’re interns” Anne-Sophie explains.

The project has just been granted a radio band fre­quency and will also be avail­able online. The launch is fore­seen for next month “but it will only be auto­matic broad­cast, music with no news pro­gramme until Sep­tem­ber. We need to be in sync with school terms” Anne-Sophie points out.

A Euro­pean Network

Micro-Europa is a Euro­pean net­work of cam­pus radio. Each month the mem­bers pro­duce a report on a given theme link­ing a local fact to the EU.

Both Eura­dio­nantes and IHECS are part of the net­work. IHECS Micro-Europa coor­di­na­tor Anne-Sophie Bruyn­don­cks thinks the inter­ests lies in this local Euro­pean prac­ti­cal approach: “Every month our stu­dents report on local sub­ject, link­ing them to the Euro­pean level. They talk about fash­ionn reli­gion or love. They start with a local project and demon­strates how much the EU influ­ence our daily-life. The other aspect is that, in our show, they are com­pletely free. They can be really cre­ative and exper­i­ment all kind of radio format.”

Did you train at Eur@dionantes? Are you link­ing local and Euro­pean level in your work? Let us know in the com­ments below this post or on our forum. You must be logged in to reply. Click here to register.

Related posts:

  1. Cre­ate a Euro­pean net­work for train­ing in Euro­pean journalism
  2. Anne Del­vaux: “Jour­nal­ists must put Euro­pean affairs on the agenda”
  3. Europe and You: Europe explained by Euro­pean students
  4. Should Europe be part of the school­teach­ers’ training?
  5. How to recon­nect jour­nal­ists to Strasbourg?

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