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A news outlet learning community

Assignment for Omrop Fryslân (Frisian broadcasting unit)

Have you always been interested in innovative journalism? Are you mad for media? Do innovative ideas of education excite you? If so, this unique opportunity at Omrop Fryslân is for you!

About Omrop Fryslân

Omrop Fryslân is a regional broadcaster in Friesland and is deeply embedded in Frisian society. Some people will know Omrop Fryslân from the legendary FK Fierljeppen (pole jumping), while others might listen to the Sportcast, tune in for the long-standing Hea!-column, or watch the occasional FryslânDOK documentary on NPO2 (Dutch national broadcasting organisation). Its media offer is varied and fresh, and familiar all the same.

Omrop Fryslân’s mission is to stimulate (active) participation in Frisian society by those who are working in media and who feel connected to Fryslân. It achieves this by informing, activating and connecting all groups within the Frisian community through a variety of platforms. In terms of market share, Omrop Fryslân is the largest regional broadcaster in the Netherlands. It produces radio and television, writes news, and engages enthusiastically with social media. Frisian is its primary language of communication, though Dutch is used, too.

The research question

Omrop Fryslân would like to determine whether a ‘‘learning community for regional journalism’’ is an attainable concept. It wants to generate more interest for regional broadcasting in students and starters. For this reason it has developed a special training programme, in collaboration with Leeuwarder Courant and Friesch Dagblad. Omrop Fryslân wants to be a place where students can learn more about what it has to offer: from editors to technicians - and vice versa.

In a learning community, students and professionals collaborate on learning trajectories, internships or research projects. The goal of such a community is reciprocal learning: students learn about journalism in the workplace, editors learn about innovative journalistic practices and theories about media consumption. Ideally, this cooperation leads to further professionalization of both parties, and contributes to the retention of talent in the region.

What will you be doing?

Based on a literature review and interviews, you will write an advisory rapport with a number of concrete recommendations for the creation of a learning community. You will read policy documents by Omrop Fryslân, will participate in informal conversations, and will document exactly how the broadcaster relates to the remainder of the media landscape and the public. Afterwards you will perform a literature review on learning communities and other modes of education that center on reciprocal learning. You will also read up on the newest innovations in journalism.

Subsequently, through interviews with various stakeholders, you will find out how such a learning community can take shape within the (corporate and) cultural context of Omrop Fryslân. The interviews are both internal (with editors, administrators), but also external. You can talk to teachers from different programmes such as Faculty of Arts (such as media studies), Campus Fryslân and Stenden Hogeschool. In this way you identify which questions there are internally and how these questions can be tackled by external parties.

Finally, you translate this information into concrete advice for the client: how much effort (and therefore money) will it cost the Omrop Fryslân? To do so, you have to take into account the role that Omrop Fryslân plays in Frisian society: as an ambassador of the Frisian language and culture, and a broadcaster that is unwilling (or unable) to let go of the old, but also wants (and must) innovate. It is ultimately the intention that you present the report to management and editorial staff of the broadcasting company.

Why choose this assignment?

● You get to know a regional broadcaster from the inside; both its strengths and challenges, and what your role can be within such a media organization.
● You bring academic knowledge of media, history, languages or journalism to the context of the labor market.
● You speak with a myriad of stakeholders, and you get to know the unique dynamics between these stakeholders.
● You have the opportunity to make a major impact and contribute to journalistic innovations.
● You gain experience as a consultant.
● You have the chance to prove yourself at Omrop Fryslân and perhaps move on to a traineeship.
● Especially for internationals: you bring an international perspective on regional journalism; a valuable property.


Together with your project group you identify your strengths and weaknesses, how you want to structure the research (which points you pick up and which you leave behind), and which products you deliver. This is of course an advisory report, but you also discuss with the client what they need. In this way you ensure that the work you provide can actually be used. The final project and process are assessed by both the lecturer and the client.

The supervision takes place in a steering group with the following persons:

● Supervision from Omrop Fryslân: Jaring de Groot (editor in chief) and Ilse Gielstra (HR).


● Vincent Hazelhoff (RUG Science Shop): Provides process-related support, steers towards a final product that is satisfactory to both parties, supports communication of the report and acts as an intermediary in case of a conflict.


● Career minor teacher: Grades the report, supervises in terms of content/methodology and process - to be determined.

Last modified:15 August 2023 1.46 p.m.
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