KARACHI: The way journalism is taught at varsities both in the West and developing world is undergoing a major transformation with focus on convergence of media and practical skills in the wake of a global revolution in the media.

For journalism schools, a teaching-hospital model is a good approach to deal with the growing challenges due to the blurring lines between not only traditional and online media but also journalism and citizen journalism.

These views were shared by Dr Lawrence Pintak, the founding dean of Edward R. Murrow College of Communication, Washin­gton State University, with media trainers and educationists at a workshop organised by the Centre of Excellence in Journalism (CEJ), Institute of Busi­ness Administration, on Tuesday.

Also a member of the CEJ board of governors, Dr Pintak led a discussion on the changing trends in the era of fake news, tech minimalism, personal brands, blogging, advocacy, ‘clickbait’ and sensationalism and highlighted the need to prepare politically and socially aware, professionally skilled, ethically grounded, and media and digitally literate students.

New curricula were being developed by the UN and universities across the world, he said, while announcing that the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan has lately approved the new curriculum designed for MS in journalism that the CEJ-IBA is going to offer.

He said HEC chairman Dr Mukhtar Ahmed in a recent conversation with him had shown his willingness to reform journalism education in Pakistan and said that the new curriculum designed for MS in journalism that encompasses practical training should be available to other universities as well to adopt.

However, one of the academicians attending the workshop said that any proposals suggested by public-sector universities which involved funds had never been welcomed by the HEC in the past. Instead such recommendations by public-sector varsities were sometimes considered a violation of the HEC guidelines, she said.

Published in Dawn, August 23rd, 2017

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