The OSCE is now fully engaged in managing the EU-funded Media in Focus project, which aims at enhancing media professionalism and independence, and promote media pluralism in Albania. This project builds upon the previous work of the Presence, in strategic partnership with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), to support the transformation of the national Public Broadcaster - Albanian Radio Television (RTSH) - into a modern, strong and independent organization with quality programming, enhanced credibility and public trust. It will also aim to improve media professional standards and enhance media education in Albania, by modernizing the curriculum and educational process of the Department of Journalism and Communication of the University of Tirana (hereinafter “Journalism Department”). The support to the Journalism Department will entail updating the curriculum to include a more practical approach, thus ensuring that graduates are equipped with the skills and knowledge to compete in the modern media landscape. To that end, the project will include training and assessments of existing education practice and human resources needs of current Albanian media, in order to redesign the curriculum to embrace a hands-on approach tailored to the needs of the digitalized age. To embrace regional educational cooperation, some exchanges will be organized for the Journalism Department to learn from good practices from advanced journalism public schools across the Balkans and Western Europe.
Close cooperation, as envisaged by this project, between the Journalism Department and the Albanian Public Broadcaster will have two-fold results:
i) assist in supporting young and well-prepared reporters entry into the public service media, thus providing a set of fresh skills, ideas and new approaches for the benefit of the public broadcaster, and ii) give these young reporters a chance to be in practical touch with media, thus enhancing and sharpening their skills.
At the moment, there is a real need to support the Journalism Department of the public University of Tirana as it strives to modernise its curriculum and develop new generations of highly professional journalists, well acquainted with international media standards and better adapted to the modern media market. During Albania’s communist time, the Journalism Department was part of the Faculty of Law and focused mainly on preparing a limited number of journalists who would be working for the only party newspaper, very few press outlets and the state television, Albanian Radio Television. In 1991, the Journalism Department was transferred to the Faculty of History and Philology. Its curricula was reformed and enriched with more courses on historical developments, political systems and Albanian language, as well as courses such as: news writing and reporting, radio journalism, TV journalism, media marketing etc. For 16 years now, the Journalism Department has trained journalists who reach hundreds of thousands of readers and listeners across the country every day. Each year, an average of 100 journalism and communication students benefit from teaching and training methodology in this department through the Bologna education model (3+2 years). Yet, the teaching approach in these modules has been dominated by old fashioned and theoretical-focused “ex cathedrae” lectures delivery. The Journalism Department has repeatedly tried to change the curricula and adapt it to the real needs of the market. The last change of the curricula was completed nine years ago, in 2010. Still, in the era of rapid technological changes, dominated by digital media, the existing curricula seriously lacks the vital practical hands-on approach.
Through modernizing the existing curricula of journalism and communication, students will be equipped with advanced journalistic skills, leading to a better-prepared future generation of journalists contributing to the media market in Albania.
Improvement of the school curricula through introducing the hands-on approach as well as practical work opportunities will be a valuable contribution in terms of strengthening the work of the Journalism Department as well as the performance of media professionals in Albania, in general. This would directly contribute to the improvement of the media environment in the country.
The Presence is now recruiting one senior international expert to lead and prepare an assessment of the existing curricula of training and education practice at Department of Journalism and Communication, Tirana University.
A working group established and chaired by the Journalism Department, with the participation of the Presence’s project staff will be established and the international expert/consultant hired within the project from a reputable, preferably partner university will lead the work in this regard. The consultant will evaluate the existing curriculum and applied teaching methods, conduct interviews with teachers and students, and other relevant parties, and make appropriate comparisons with good international practice. The process will include the organization of brainstorming sessions as well as roundtable discussions aimed at a comprehensive and all-inclusive process of curricula evaluation. The project will support drafting of a final assessment report, which will be shared within the Journalism Department and all relevant stakeholders. The assessment shall contain recommendations for changes of the education practice into more advanced curricula.
The expert will be supported with material and access to Department of Journalism and Communication during his/her visits and will be guided by the Project Manager and Presence staff in charge of the ExB project.
This contact will be on a daily basis during the lead expert’s visits to Tirana and on a weekly basis during his/her home based work via skype or phone, plus for ad-hoc exchange of information or questions via e-mail as needed.
The work will include desk research, interviews and meetings with lecturers, beneficiaries and stakeholders. The expert will elaborate on all the areas considered for assistance. Other documents to be provided by the Presence that come out of additional assessments conducted by other specialized experts.
Tasks and responsibilities:
An international expert will be hired on a Special Service Agreement by the Presence for the assessment phase. The lead expert will have to have an extensive experience in teaching and education process, with a particular focus on journalism and communication.
The assessment report of the expert will be based on desk research, a thorough in country assessment, existing assessments and data from publicly available sources, the expert’s own professional experience and/or information obtained during the visit/consultation process to Tirana.
The international lead expert is expected to:
• Draft an outline of the assessment report focusing on the existing education process and teaching methods at Journalism Department, UT, including including methodology, list of literature to be reviewed, questionnaires, list of interviews planned at the Department of Journalism and Communication, University of Tirana. • Prepare a first draft of the report, making use of own desk research, first assessment visit at the Department of Journalism, studies and surveys provided to the expert by the project manager as well as own interviews of the expert with key stakeholders. • The expert will incorporate into the final product all suggestions and recommendations coming from the working team at the Department of Journalism • Be in close cooperation on a daily basis with the project manager and the Presence staff in charge of the EU-Funded Media in Focus project as well as Media Development Unit, OSCE Presence in Albania during the time of work in Tirana and conduct weekly skype/phone conferences with the project team during home based work. Constant contact for information sharing and questions will be conducted via e-mail. • Guide the university working team in what kind of support and information is needed for the accomplishment of the tasks. • The expert will participate one study visit to Tirana, Albania to conduct interviews and research with the working team at Journalism Department as well as one consultation process to present the report and finalize it with the working team. • The international expert is expected to conduct work in person in Tirana twice for up to a total of 12 working days for in person meetings and interviews with key stakeholders, beneficiaries and the Presence. The expert will in addition to the fee agreed in this contract, be provided DSA, flight and terminal allowance for the assessment visits he participates in and time spent in Tirana. • The remaining days (12) will be home based work to prepare the main deliverables.
• Outline of the assessment report focusing on the existing education process and teaching methods at Journalism Department, UT, including including methodology, list of literature to be reviewed, questionnaires, list of interviews planned at the Department of Journalism - January 2020 • 1st draft of the report, making use of own desk research, first assessment visit at the Department of Journalism, studies and surveys provided to the expert by the project manager as well as own interviews of the expert with key stakeholders – February 2020 • Final report of the existing education process – 30 March 2020
• Have a PhD or advanced degree in journalism and communication, political science, social science, law,
• Minimum 15 years of professional experience in education process; Especially in journalism and communication; providing concrete documentation of previous work in the area.
• Computer literate.
• Fluency in English.
The payment for this consultancy will be in accordance with the OSCE established rates and upon submission and approval of the deliverables mentioned above.
How to apply
All applications are due by 27 December 2019. If you wish to apply for this position, please use the OSCE's online application link found under link https://jobs.osce.org/. The OSCE retains the discretion to re-advertise the vacancy, to cancel the recruitment, to offer a contract with modified Terms of Reference or for a different duration. The OSCE is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious, ethnic and social backgrounds to apply to become a part of the organization. Please be aware that the OSCE does not request payment at any stage of the application and review process.