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Media-education groups link up in Alliance of Asian Media Schools

Global news, Higher Education

February 17, 2014

NATION UNIVERSITY’S Faculty of Communication Arts has forged an alliance with leading media academic institutions from four other Asian countries for a regional collaboration on media education that will prepare Asia for a new era.

The four are the Konrad Adenauer Asian Centre for Journalism (ACFJ) at the Philippines’ Ateneo de Manila University, the Statesman Print Journalism School from India, Royal University of Phnom Penh’s Department of Media and Communication (DMC) from Cambodia, and the National Management College in Yangon, Myanmar.

They will work together to synergise their media courses so as to allow students to study in the five countries, exchange teachers, and introduce a new pan-Asian knowledge curriculum.

The network members have founded what is to be known as the “Alliance of Asian Media Schools (AMS)”.

“AMS should be able to bring about good synergy and development in Asian journalism education. Nation University’s Faculty of Communication Arts wants to be an active partner in this alliance, whose members share the goal of ethical and responsible journalism. It is the key concept which we have prioritised for our students,” said Dr Duangporn Arbhasil, senior executive vice president of Nation University.

Academics and heads of the five met at the Asian J-School Summit in Phnom Penh last week organised by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung’s Media Programme Asia. Asian News Network, an alliance of 22 media organisations from 19 Asian countries and the Rural Media Network from Pakistan also participated.

“Any of the five journalism schools is the best in the country it represents”, said the director of KAS Media Programme Asia, Torben Stephan. “The time has come to join and work on a new regional perspective of journalism education.”

The academic and course synergy will be put together under direction of Dr Violet Valdez, associate professor and executive director of ACFJ.

Valdez said, “The AMS is envisioned as a platform for sharing experiences and resources, and forging a journalism curriculum that is relevant to the culture and aspirations of Asian societies.”

The senior representatives from the five academies together came up with the principles of journalism education in Asia in which they will work together on core courses to enhance ethical and responsible journalism in the context of specific Asian societies.

AMS will also strive to provide practical experience in innovative ways of effective story telling – extending the responsible role of journalism from print, to broadcasting, social media and other technological-led outlets.

The alliance is keen on providing an understanding the appreciation of the role of journalism has in culturally-diverse democracies in Asia which is also undergoing rapid social change.

Last but not least, AMS want to together produce next generations of journalists, broadcasters and multimedia media personnel who work for public interest so as to create informed citizens and societies.

The aspiration and action plans of AMS will be presented to the Asia News Network’s annual Board of Editors’ meeting in Singapore on April 7-8.

Valdez represented ACFJ at the meeting, while Ratana Som led DMC as its acting director. Dr Duangporn Arbhasil represented Nation University in her capacity as senior executive vice president, while Ravindra Kumar is trustee of the Statesman Print Journalism School.

Prof Dr Than Win represented National Management College as its Principal. NMC operate Myanmar’s only journalism programme. NMC itself will be upgraded to a university status shortly.

Rural Media Network was represented by its president, Ehsan Ahmed Sehar; and Pana Janviroj participated on behalf of Asia News Network as its executive director.

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