We are proud of our graduates

Agnieszka Strzepka talks to Rev. Professor Leon Dyczewski, OFMConv, the founder and director of the Postgraduate Studies in Social Communications and Journalism at the Catholic University of Lublin.

Rev. Prof. Leon Dyczewski, OFMConv, the director of the Chair of Sociology of Culture, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, has published over 350 scientific works and feature articles on culture, religiosity, family, ethnic groups, social communication and media, philosophy and social politics, the activities of the Catholic Church and the Franciscan Order. He prepared the exhibition scenario of ‘The deeds and Ideas of Father Maximilian Kolbe’ and the screenplay for the film about Saint Maximilian Kolbe. He founded the Social Academy and the Social Communication and Journalism Studies at the Catholic University of Lublin. He received many awards and distinctions, e.g. Silver Medal Gloria Artis, Meritorious for Polish Culture, the distinction ‘Meritorious Activist of Culture’, the individual award of the Ministry of National Education, the Wlodzimierz Pietrzak Scientific Award and the Officer’s Cross of the Medal of Poland’s Revival.

Agnieszka Strzepka: - How does the Postgraduate Studies in Social Communications and Journalism at KUL realise the idea ‘Deo et Patriae’ of the Catholic University of Lublin?

Rev. Prof. Leon Dyczewski, OFMConv: - As a special programme we are trying to serve God and Homeland by educating future workers of various media institutions. We need good journalists, such journalists that feel a strong relationship with their society, know it well and observe it and then are able to inform about what is going on in the world. They also can place the news in the international society of networks. In our programme we focus on profound knowledge of society, law and ethics. Besides theory the essential thing is the so-called professional preparation, i.e. using the techniques to handle, record and transmit information. Our specialisations include radio, press and television journalism, documentaries, editing, public relations and advertisement, analysis of media messages and of public opinion. Our programme has been enriched with Internet journalism course. Therefore, we do our best to educate our students in the spirit of our University motto ‘Deo et Patriae’. It depends on each of us to put this into practice.

- The Postgraduate Studies in Social Communications and Journalism at KUL has existed since 1993. How does it differ from similar units?

- So far we have differed a lot since our programme is very rich and lasts four semesters. Since the academic year 2007/2008 we have changed it into a part-time programme. The classes are conducted twice a month, on Fridays and Saturdays. The programme is very vast as compared with other studies; it embraces numerous classes and modules, forming a certain thematic whole. I would like our alumni to have the mentality of social communication, which is the mentality of the modern society of networks, and I would like them to be aware of the role of the media and journalists. It is commonly said that a modern society is a society of information. This is true. Information influences society to a large extent. It can stimulate its growth but it can also divide and segregate it. Today information is treated as goods to sell and buy. The media mentality, which we want our students to have, demands those involved in modern media to go forward and put more effort in the communicative aspect of the media. The interpersonal communication is the most important one. Journalists’ task is to inform and to integrate people and the society.

- What does the programme look like?

- The programme, embracing over 330 hours of theoretical and practical classes, is of interdisciplinary character; it combines theory and practice in the field of social communication and journalism. Experienced journalists and academics as well as workers of institutions of social communication conduct the teaching. Students can use a professional radio studio, a workshop of film production, digital cameras and editorial workshop with the Internet access. Moreover, our students have internships with editorial boards, radio and television studios, public relations offices, advertisement agencies and publishing houses. The three semester studies end with a thesis and examination. The graduates receive a diploma of completing special studies, acknowledged by the Ministry of National Education and Sport.

- What successes of your students and alumni can you boast of?

- Many of our alumni work for the radio, press and television, publishing houses as well as advertisement and marketing agencies. Those who work in the media have been quite successful. I have not received any accusations and grudges concerning bad education, on the contrary there were many praises. Our lecturers, who come from various scientific centres in Poland, praise our students for their openness, sensitivity and creative reactions to problems. Additionally, we can also mention the awards and distinctions our students and alumni have received in various radio and film contests.

- What are your future plans?

- We would like to develop Internet journalism and public relations courses so that these two fields would become strong elements of our programme. In order to make it easier for our candidates we have already begun our recruitment for the summer semester in academic year 2007/2008. The recruitment is on-line. Detailed information can be found at www.kul.lublin.pl/art_483.html and you can also phone the office: (0-81) 445-40- 34.

- Who can apply?

- We invite all graduates with Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctor’s degrees, those working in the media and those interested in social communication. Exceptionally, we can also admit students of the final year of the Catholic University of Lublin and Maria Curie Sklodowska University in Lublin.

- You were awarded the Silver Medal Gloria Artis by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland, given to distinguished personalities in the sphere of artistic, cultural activities and protection of culture and national heritage...

- Yes, I did. I am happy about the distinction. I am eager to get involved in local cultural activities. I very much value the audience of district and county environments. There are very grateful listeners; they ask many questions concerning cultural issues and they are interested in the Polish identity. My contacts with them bring me much joy. The audience is diversified as far as the age and level of education are concerned, which requires numerous skills from the lecturer. Many interesting things happen in the small provincial places and wonderful people live there. It is pity that journalists do not see that.

"Niedziela" 46/2007

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: redakcja@niedziela.pl