Mr Nirmaldasan (email@example.com)informed me about the concerns of journalism teachers in Chennai and Puducherry. I believe the issue deserved to be debated across the country:
Journalism teachers join hands to regulate field
D Suresh Kumar, TNN, Apr 5, 2010, 04.41am IST
CHENNAI: Concerned over the unregulated proliferation of academic courses in the field of journalism and mass communication, university and college teachers handling the subject in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry have come together as a collective group to press for its regulation.
Senior professors and faculty members from leading institutions including the University of Madras, Madurai Kamaraj University, Pondicherry University, Periyar University, Manonmaniam Sundaranar University and Anna University met in Chennai last month to form an Association of Communication Teachers (ACT TN & Pondy). One of the purposes of forming an association is to seek a professional regulatory body for communication education on the lines of the Medical Council of India and All India Council for Technical Education.
This body will also serve as a "media watchdog" to independently review media content in the wake of the recent controversy over private television channels beaming adult content' during prime time without cautioning viewers when disgraced godman Nithyananda was caught in a sex row.
"In Chennai alone nearly 30 institutions are offering media-related courses. Around 10-odd institutions in the districts have media programmes. However, there are no regulations to ensure that only qualified persons handle the subject. You have visual communication and electronic media courses, with little emphasis on communication, being included in the faculty of journalism. Our concern is that if under-qualified persons or those from irrelevant fields handle subjects it would jeopardise the employability of the student," said G Ravindaran, president, ACT (TN & Pondy)
Since the media industry looks up to university departments as "suppliers of input" for its editorial department, the need for a tighter framework is felt. "We are not against encouraging more players in the field but we favour a strong regulatory framework since deterioration in quality of teaching has a bearing on the employability of the student," Ravindran, who also heads the department of journalism and communication, University of Madras, told TOI.
A section of the journalism faculty is concerned about "rank outsiders" heading communication departments. For instance, a mechanical engineering professor heads the media sciences department at the Anna University (Chennai). "Communication field can benefit from a sociologist or anthropologist as a teacher but certainly not a mechanical engineer," quipped a journalism professor.
The ACT is also against launching fancy courses like BTech in Electronic Media and MBA in Journalism, which a couple of deemed universities are offering.
suresh.kumar3@ timesgroup. com
Source: http://timesofindia .indiatimes. com/city/ chennai/Journali sm-teachers- join-hands- to-regulate- field/articlesho w/5761057. cms --