Public Policy and Curriculum Guidelines on Higher Education of Journalism in Brazil

Ada C. M. da Silveira, Edileuson S. Almeida


The 70 years of higher education in Journalism in Brazil are part of the project that legally regulates the curriculum requirements for vocational training intended by the Brazilian State. This research has recovered the history of the higher education courses triangulated by the established literature on the topic, observing its numerical growth in both the offer of training positions and in the increase in the number of positions in different regions of the Brazilian territory. The moment of occurrence of the legal devices of public policies that regulate the activity of higher education in journalism and other state actions has also been contextualized, in accordance with the recognition of the political system that instituted it. An exploratory survey of the national bibliographical production on the theme was carried out, to later consider  the challenges encountered in the training activity. Faced with phenomena marked by violence against journalists and restrictions to the development of the activity in the professional practice of journalism, one strongly questions what skills are in mind when it comes to critically assessing the proposed formation. But these contradictory conditions do not prevent them to present themselves to the labour market every year. In Brazil there are 145,000 registered journalists, 89% of them having been registered as holders of higher education diplomas. An estimated 52,900 journalists were registered between the years 1980 and 2000. The rate of workers that obtained the register between the years 2000 and 2011 reached the amount of 92,500 (BERGAMO, MICK and LIMA, 2012). It is considered that about 90% are holders of higher education diplomas. This research recovered the history of the creation of the higher education courses according to the registers of the Ministry of Education triangulated by the specialized literature, observing their growth regarding both the number of vacancies offered for journalism and the number of courses offered in different regions of the Brazilian territory. The moment of appearance of the legal systems that integrate the public practices regulating the activity of higher education in journalism and other state actions was contextualized, according to the recognition of the political system by which they were organized. By the study of documental sources, it can be acknowledged that the higher education in journalism has known different intervention instruments since the public education policies. This is connected to legal instruments as the Minimum Curricula, succeeded by the Curricular Guidelines and other legal instruments, as discussed hereinafter. In addition, an exploratory survey concerning the national literature on the subject was held, so as then to think over the difficulties imposed to the training activity, specially in a framework to which the action of the Brazilian State has been critical. Shifting from the legal requirements to the contents, raising the bibliographical production of the year 2000, specifically published after the first version of the National Curricular Guidelines in 2001 and only considering the texts on journalism training, a significant number of academic works were found. Regarding the researches developed in the graduate programs in communication, 39 thesis and dissertations that were defended in this period in Brazil were identified. In addition to this production are more than 300 scientific papers published in 32 national scientific journals and in the proceedings of four of the most important scientific events in the area of communication that deal specifically with studies of journalism. Empirical and documentary references allow the confirmation of the presence of an author given to his regular publications on the subject (MOURA, 2000). Professor José Marques de Melo researches the topic since the 1970s and wrote at least nine titles, between books and compilation of texts (MELO, 1974, 1981, 1985, 1986, 1991, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2011; MELO, FADUL and SILVA, 1979; MELO, VIDAL and ALVES, 2012) dedicated to the pedagogy of communication, specially the various aspects of journalism training. The position defended by the Brazilian Ministry of Education in different governments since the creation of the Minimum Curriculum in 1962, through the Military Regime and in effect from the "New Republic" (1985) to the present, arouses questions regarding the comprehension of the relations between journalism and political power. How much is journalism and the training of its professionals worth for the Brazilian State? As argued, the research reinforces an understanding of the advanced vocational training as surrounded by tension; being protected by the State, a parallel was drawn while limiting university autonomy. The protection of the Brazilian State regarding higher education also raises the question of why - being its consecutive authoritarian and democratic governments unable to establish a regulatory framework consistent to the technological status of the national media system - proselytize with the teaching of journalism.

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