Knight Center
Knight Center

JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

Over 1,000 people have signed up for the Knight Center's MOOC on election coverage. Sign up!



Over one thousand people from 34 countries have registered for the first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) in Spanish presented by the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, "How to Improve Electoral Coverage," which will take place from Friday, March 8, to April 19, with renowned Colombian journalists and political scientist María Teresa Ronderos. 

Enrollment is still open for this free, six-week course. Click here to sign up now. If you have any questions about registration, click here. For more information about this course and how MOOCs work, click here

"I'm very happy and impressed with the response. The call for students has been a great success. We have people from all Latin American countries interested in improving their journalistic coverage of elections," said professor Rosental Calmon Alves, founder and director of the Knight Center. "The participants are so excited about the idea of an online course that they have already started talking about elections in their countries before the formal start of the program." 

So far, the country with the greatest participation is Mexico with 216 people signed up, followed by Colombia (138), Peru (99), Venezuela (90), Brazil (80), Argentina (78) and Chile (71). There are also participants from other countries in the hemisphere, including Bolivia, Canada, Paraguay, Ecuador, El Salvador, Puerto Rico, the United States and Cuba. Other students signed up from as far away as Germany, Austrailia, China, Spain, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, and the United Kingdom. 

The course is open to anyone interested in the world with an Internet connection and will share with students a number of practical tools for covering elections in the most effective and impactful way for citizens. The MOOC will cover topics like the basic concepts of a democracy, new forms of surveillance and examples of some of the best electoral journalism in the region. 

Several elections have taken place in Latin America during the first months of 2013, including municipal elections in Mexico, presidential and legislative ones in Paraguay, as well as others in Venezuela, Argentina, Honduras and Chile. 

María Teresa Ronderos is a Colombian journalist and political scientist who directs VerdadAbierta.com, a website she founded in 2008 specializing in armed conflict in the country. She is also a consulting editor for the leading news magazine in Colombia, Semana, and a columnist for the newspaper El Espectador. She was the editor-in-chief of Semana and, later, the director of Semana.com, where she developed the website Votebien.com, which reported on Colombian elections from 2002 to 2011. Ronderos is also the author of two books, "Retratos de Poder" (2002) and "Cinco en Humor" (2007). 

Ronderos’ investigative work has won national prizes, including the Simón Bolívar, and CPB (1997, 2006 and2007) as well as international ones, like the King of Spain, the European Union’s Lorenzo Natali prize and the Maria Moors Cabot (1997, 2011 and 2007). One of her award-winning articles dealt with how the media covered a scandal about drug traffickers’ political contributions in 1994.

Ronderos has taught several classes through the Knight Center’s distance learning platform. Last year, Ronderos was one of the instructors for an online course about digital storytelling and gave a webinar about managing digital newsrooms. In 2010, Ronderos taught a free, six-week course about election coverage for Venezuelan journalists as part of a contribution between the Knight Center, the Carter Center and the United Nations Development Programme.

The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas was created in 2002 by Professor Rosental Alves at the University of Texas at Austin School of Journalism thanks to a generous donation from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which has been supporting it continually. The Center also receives major contributions from the Open Society Foundations and The University of Texas at Austin. The Center's main goal is to help journalists in Latin American and the Caribbean to improve the quality of journalism in their countries.

 

 



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