Jour­nal­ism fac­ing chal­leng­ing times

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - EDUCATION GUIDE -

aCROSS the world, tra­di­tional news and me­dia or­gan­i­sa­tions have been forced to rein­vent them­selves to keep up with the chang­ing lo­cal and global land­scapes. From the rise of al­ter­na­tive forms of me­dia to the dis­in­te­gra­tion of con­ven­tional jour­nal­ism mod­els, be­ing a jour­nal­ist in the con­tem­po­rary world re­quires adapt­abil­ity, dy­namism and a big pic­ture world­view.

“Jour­nal­ism is un­der­go­ing ma­jor shifts, along with many po­lit­i­cal land­scapes in a num­ber of dif­fer­ent re­gions,” said Monash Univer­sity Sun­way cam­pus School of Arts and So­cial Sci­ences Jour­nal­ism lec­turer Dr Colm McNaughton.

“With the rise of Wik­ileaks, on­line me­dia and other new forms of jour­nal­ism, the me­dia has been to­tally trans­formed. Com­pared to 10 to 15 years ago, it is a to­tally dif­fer­ent place now.”

The rapid changes have made the me­dia in­dus­try highly com­pet­i­tive, with those un­able to rein­vent them­selves left be­hind.

“Re­cently in Aus­tralia, 2,500 jobs were lost

We want our stu­dents to look be­yond Malaysia be­cause what is hap­pen­ing is just so big.

in the me­dia in­dus­try, so this change is real, and those who want to play in this field need to be able to keep up,” said Dr McNaughton, who hails from Vic­to­ria, Aus­tralia.

At Monash Univer­sity Malaysia, the Jour­nal­ism ma­jor too will be go­ing through a ma­jor re­vamp to keep up with the times.

“We’re bring­ing in com­po­nents to the ma­jor that are look­ing at trends in global me­dia,” said Dr McNaughton. “Part of what we want to do is to en­gage the change that is go­ing on within jour­nal­ism glob­ally. We want our stu­dents to look be­yond Malaysia be­cause what is hap­pen­ing is just so big.”

Dr McNaughton, whose area of spe­cial­i­sa­tion is ra­dio jour­nal­ism, said the course seeks to equip stu­dents with as many skills and con­tacts needed for them to thrive in the chal­leng­ing me­dia in­dus­try.

The course will also in­tro­duce a much­needed re­flec­tive el­e­ment via a unit on me­dia, power and reporting in South-East Asia as well as a study on un­der­stand­ing global me­dia trends.

To ex­pand the stu­dents’ hori­zons and give them a global per­spec­tive on the work they will do as jour­nal­ists, one of the main ad­di­tions to the course will be es­tab­lish­ing links with in­ter­na­tional me­dia or­gan­i­sa­tions in In­dia, the Philip­pines and In­done­sia.

“We hope when the stu­dents grad­u­ate, they will have all sorts of in­ter­est­ing things to en­gage in, with con­tacts all over South-East Asia,” said Dr McNaughton.

Dr McNaughton’s ex­ten­sive ex­pe­ri­ence in ra­dio doc­u­men­taries has led him to be a re­cip­i­ent of nu­mer­ous awards, namely his 2008 pro­duc­tion “Awak­en­ing from His­tory?”, which earned him Aus­tralia’s pres­ti­gious Walk­ley Award for Best Ra­dio Fea­ture, Doc­u­men­tary or Broad­cast Spe­cial.

In 2010, his piece en­ti­tled “La Fron­tera: a jour­ney into the border­lands of Mex­ico and the United States” bagged the Best Ra­dio cat­e­gory in the United Na­tions As­so­ci­a­tion of Aus­tralia Me­dia Peace Awards.

He hopes to bring his ex­ten­sive trav­els and work ex­pe­ri­ence to the class­room. Apart from prac­ti­cal stud­ies, stu­dents will also be taught how to en­gage in free­lance work.

Be part of the il­lus­tri­ous Monash alumni. The Fe­bru­ary 2014 in­take is now open for en­rol­ment.

For de­tails, speak to coun­sel­lors at 03-5514 6000 or 013-200 5572 or log on to www.monash.edu.my

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