ALBANY, N.Y. (November 07, 2012) -- The University at Albany, in partnership with Tunisia's Institut de Presse et des Sciences de l’Information (IPSI – The Press and Information Science Institute), which is responsible for training Tunisia’s next generation of media professionals, will develop and implement a master’s degree in investigative journalism. The two-year degree program will focus primarily on investigative techniques, information sourcing, and law.
"Since the ‘Arab Spring’ revolutions of 2011, the media have played an increasingly important role in strengthening the democratic process in North Africa and the Middle East," said Thomas Bass, UAlbany professor of English and journalism. "Tunisia has witnessed the emergence of more than a hundred new publications, a dozen new radio stations, three new satellite channels, and a host of electronic journals."
UAlbany Journalism professors Rosemary Armao, Nancy Roberts, and Thomas Bass. (Photo Mark Schmidt)
With a $250,000 grant from the U.S. Department of State, UAlbany and IPSI will design a curriculum in investigative journalism and organize academic exchanges, faculty training, and mentoring. The educational partnership will include exchanges of faculty and experts, the creation of knowledge centers oriented around the practices of investigative reporting, and support for innovative student projects at Manouba University, where IPSI is located. Ultimately, the program will identify the individuals, funding sources, and legal and logistical steps required to create a Center for Investigative Reporting in Tunisia.
"People have put their lives on the line to win transparency and accountability from their government," said Rosemary Armao, assistant professor of journalism, UAlbany. "We are keen to support this project and pleased that the State Department has chosen us for this important assignment."
UAlbany will commit three professional journalists and educators to the partnership:
Thomas Bass, professor of English and journalism - Bass is author of six award-winning books in investigative reporting and former correspondent in Africa for Smithsonian magazine. He has lived and worked in Sahelian and Sub-Saharan Africa for three years. Bass has been instrumental in establishing university partnerships and other developmental work in Brazil and Vietnam.
Nancy Roberts, professor and director of the UAlbany Journalism Program - Roberts is a recognized expert in curricular development and innovative approaches to journalism education.
Rosemary Armao, assistant professor - Armao has led training workshops and helped to develop investigative reporting centers throughout Central Europe, Asia, and Africa. She was part of a team that won the prestigious Daniel Pearl Award for Investigative Reporting.