Another first from Amrita School of Communication

Released on: June 23, 2008, 2:00 pm

Press Release Author: AMRITA / ASCOM

Industry: Media

Press Release Summary: A year after it launched its Masters Programme in
Communication offering unmatched choice and flexibility for mass communication
students, Amrita University, Coimbatore is back. This time it becomes the first
university in India to launch a Bachelors Programme in Mass Communication that is in
keeping with the spirit of the UNESCO\'s Model Curriculum released in 2007.

Press Release Body: In December 2005, UNESCO convened a meeting of journalism
educators in Paris to consider the broad outlines of an ideal curriculum in the
study of journalism.

Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham has the first university in India to launch a media
course in keeping with the spirit of UNESCO's Model Curriculum for its undergraduate
degree programme. UNESCO's Model Curriculum, which was launched in June last year,
has been designed by a select group of media scientists and practitioners drawn from
across the world, including India.
The curriculum provides for changes to suit the local learning environments. "We
decided to organise the journalism programmes around three curricula axes:
professional skills; social, cultural, political, economic, legal, and practical
aspects of journalism practice; knowledge of the world," Michael Cobden, one of the
key planners of the UNESCO Model Curriculum, had said during the launch in Singapore
last year."
Amrita is already offering successful programmes at the postgraduate level. We've
made a few adjustments to ensure a smooth transition from UNESCO's UG curriculum to
our own postgraduate programmes.
Integrating the PG and UG programmes presents a major challenge to any academic body
designing the curricula,\" says Prof. Rakesh Katarey, Faculty in-charge. Not
surprising because students who enter media courses at the PG level are from both,
cognate and non-cognate streams.
"What may seem like repetition of course content for some (students who join PG
after doing Bachelor's in media), is often fresh knowledge for those getting into
media directly at the Master's level," says Ashwin, a student of Amrita.
However, not all students joining mass communication courses are necessarily looking
for careers in journalism alone. \"I always wanted to get into short filmmaking or
advertising," recalls Balaji, alumni of Amrita who is now working for a prominent FM
Radio channel.
Recognising this need, beginning last year, Amrita introduced the M.A. Communication
programme that used the cafeteria approach.
This approach provides Masters students the flexibility to select and specialise
from a list of diverse communication streams including journalism, where each stream
of electives has equal depth. "The challenge was to design courses that complement
one another, providing for both, continuity and change," says Prof. Katarey.
"Over time the industry's reliance on media schools for fresh recruits has grown.
Simultaneously, technology-intensive media have also grown, shifting the goal posts
from social understanding to mastering technology and techniques.
The domain knowledge of the budding journalists is no longer society but media
itself," he adds.
In December 2005, UNESCO convened a meeting of journalism educators in Paris to
consider the broad outlines of an ideal curriculum in the study of journalism.
Following this, in 2007, the Model Curriculum was formally launched at a joint
plenary session organised by the World Journalism Education Congress and the Asian
Media Information and Communication Centre (AMIC), Singapore.
"In many ways, we found that UNESCO's model curriculum was trying to fill the
yawning gap between what a journalist ought to know and what the journalist is
currently being trained to know," feels Prof. Rakesh.
Broadly, the curriculum underlines the course content across three broad axes:
professional practice, journalism studies, and arts.
By doing so, amongst other things, the curriculum seeks to revert to the times when
young journalists understood society and journalism was truly the sounding board of
public opinion.

Web Site:

Contact Details: Amrita School of Communication
Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham [University]
Ettimadai Post
Call: 0422-2656422 (extn.540 or 541)
For details, email:

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