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Journalism students refine skills in real radio broadcasting environment

4th September, 2018

In line with the introduction of its new journalism stream under its Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication, Curtin University Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) has launched an industry-standard radio conty at its campus for the teaching of related broadcast journalism units.

Developed in collaboration with professional audio, video, lighting and control systems solutions providers Harman International, it is the first teaching facility of its kind in East Malaysia.

The conty is equipped with a professional grade Studer console by Harman which is designed as a flexible hybrid solution for radio broadcasting and production for commercial radio stations and educational institutions.

Other equipment include computers for online music feeds, high-end microphones, headphones and studio monitor speakers, as well as line array loudspeakers and IP encoders for remote audio feeds. The facility also features an adjoining teaching room with live audio feed that seats 41 students, including seating for the handicapped.

Faculty of Humanities Head of Programme Tharshni Kumarasamy said it is an excellent teaching facility where students can get a realistic radio studio experience, learning and refining their skills with equipment used in some of the world’s best radio stations.

In the broadcast journalism units, students learn and practice aspects of broadcast journalism and develop their multi-platform journalistic skill set by producing recorded radio stories and a smart-phone essay.

They critically apply the skills, techniques and conventions of journalism to research and write news stories, and apply news values to the construction and recording of radio news. They also apply news values, technology skills, and multi-platform communication capabilities to the creation of video stories.

The conty complements other modern teaching facilities at the Faculty of Humanities such as its Media Laboratory for the teaching of corporate screen production units and practical work in film and television production.

“Our specially-designed facilities ensure that our students graduate industry-ready with the necessary skills and experience to work effectively in the print, broadcast and online media.

“They learn various skills, technologies and publishing platforms, and get opportunities to explore emerging media technology and expand their portfolio of talents and practical work,” said Tharshni.

Tharshni added that the conty holds a lot of potentials for the future. Long-term plans include enhancing it to operate as a campus radio station, broadcasting university news and announcements, and interviews with visiting dignitaries, lecturers and industry experts to the campus community.

Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Beena Giridharan, meanwhile, said she was happy that the opening of the conty coincided with the introduction of the new journalism stream. She said Curtin Malaysia is proud to have a radio studio that is one of the most advanced in the country.

The 3-year Curtin Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication offered at Curtin Malaysia features four streams: Corporate Screen Production, Journalism, Marketing and Public Relations. The course is very practical and technology-centred, giving students ample exposure to industry practices and opportunities to work with industry-standard equipment and produce real work for print, radio, film and television.

The new journalism stream covers journalism theory and practice through print, broadcast and online media, including the legal and ethical conditions under which journalism is practiced.

In their first year, students will be introduced to print journalism, gaining practical reporting skills, studying the context in which journalists research and report in the public interest, and discussing the concepts relevant to ethical and reflective journalism practice.

They will learn to interpret a situation or event and to clearly, concisely and accurately tell a story in the hard news form, and also learn to think and write critically about journalism practice and journalism’s role in society.

Following in the second year will be an introduction to broadcast journalism where students will examine the nature, history and function of broadcast journalism by analysing and evaluating the public, community and commercial sectors.

Another aspect of journalism that they will learn is media law. This equips them to identify and apply laws governing publication that concern media professionals. This will be crucial when seeking and preparing material for publication to avoid legal liability while exploiting the limits of freedom of speech.

In addition, they will learn about media ethics and explore key theories and concepts in ethical reasoning and develop skills in critical thinking on issues of professional ethics in journalism and the media.

In their third and final year, students will study news writing and reporting, as well as radio news. They will develop news gathering, writing and research skills and an awareness of different styles and genres within print and online journalism, as well as learn how to generate ideas, undertake research, conduct interviews and write in news style to tight deadlines.

They will then learn to work in a radio newsroom environment performing a range of tasks in the development of complex radio news stories. This will include practical training in digital recording, editing and production, ensuring that they are able to react to the demands of the modern news environment.

For more information on Curtin Malaysia, visit its website (www.curtin.edu.my), its Facebook page (CurtinMalaysia), Twitter profile (curtinmalaysia), Google+ page (Curtin Malaysia), Instagram (curtinmalaysia) or YouTube channel (Curtin Malaysia).

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