The JEDI project

Cultivating Democracy

Journalism as a social institution has been associated with the idea of a 4th Estate since Edmund Burke and Thomas Carlyle. The idea of journalism as a monitor of power balance in society is an Enlightenment project with jmore than coincidental links to Immanual Kant, a belief in reason and also a belief in cosmopolitan belonging. The idea being that too much centralization of power corrupts, the present and future of journalism depends on constantly renewed ideas of what journalism is and how it meets the challenges of globalization, digitalization, accelerated information flows and the completely key question of how we as democratic societies observe the custodioanship of rationality and belief in truth, fact and social responsibility. We live in a world where many political leaders do not.

JEDI stands for Journalism, Education, Europe, and the Erosion of Democratic institutions. In 1989 when the Berlin Wall was torn down, another “wall” came down with Tim Berners-Lee innovating html-code and the resulting world wide web.M osdt of the time, the relation between these to key social changes escapes us.

In a few short years, basic rules and logics of how we as human beings communicate, were redefined. What we have seen is a societal development that has not moved us in the direction of a more transparent and just society, as the early pionoeers of the internet advocated. On the contrary, we have seen the development of tribalism, leading us to question basic assumptions of the democratizing functions of the Internet. 

The JEDI project invites journalism researhers and PhD students to engage in a normative research project, a comparative research project and a project that more than what is common also invites journalism practitioners to work together to jointly produce new research insights, new educational content in journalism education ans training, as well as a support network for those seeking to explore new models of journalism, understanding but also leaving behind old legacies in journalism education, pushing towards a framework in which the critical functions of jounalism can be cultivated and made relevant from global news to the small local daily. 

The project is hosted by the Future Learning Lab, an international network of dedicated scholars and ideas entrepreneurs that for ten years has cultivated new ideas of education and learning.Future Learning Lab pursued a model where academics, students and practitioners together pursue problem-based knowledge designs, in order to present solutions to present problems.

JEDI is a journalism education project within this framework.