By Sihle “Raz” Mthembu
Having dedicated a significant period of her life to teaching journalism and journalism excellence. Dunlap is one of the moist reputable and most respected Journalism teachers not only in her native America but anywhere in the world. She currently serves as President of the Poynter institute (the international renowned online journalism education guide). Dunlap has been involved with the institute since 1989, after having served as a journalism teacher at the University of Tennessee. “ I got involved with Poynter because it was an institution that took a different direction to conventional journalism teaching” says Dunlap “it explored a number of platforms and I saw it as an opportunity to engage in dialogue with other Journalism teachers from around the world”, and explore she did. Dunlap is now one of the trustees of the organisation, and has worked to improve the organisations involvement in journalism education in third world countries. “I think the biggest difference between us and Africa is that we have the platform, something that most African’s don’t have and this is a gap we would like to bridge in the future”. Not only is Dunlap a trustee of the Poynter institute she has many other accolades which include several honorary degrees, awards as well as having served in a number of Pulitzer Prize juries. “I think that journalism is an essential service and it feels great when you are rewarded for doing what you love and it feels even better when you see other people get rewarded for doing what they love”. Dunlap has also co-authored several books on journalism and journalism education one of which is The Effective editor which was co written with Foster Davis. Dunlap is currently serving on a special panel as part of the WJEC which is part of the Highway Africa programme this year. The panel looks to analyse and make recommendations regarding curricula between the media industry and journalism schools.