With an aim to work out a plausible academic curriculum on Media Ethics that will bridge the gap between academicians and the industry, Dr Kanchan K. Malik, professor at the University of Hyderabad, has been awarded a Federal grant by the US Consulate General Hyderabad, Public Affairs Section. Answering to an open call for an “expression of interest” by the US consulate general of Hyderabad, Dr Kanchan sent her concept note including her approach towards developing the curriculum. “They received several notes from several potential candidates, but I’m glad mine got selected,” she says.
Apart from working on the curriculum, she will continue to strive for the betterment of community radio, something she has passionately worked for the last 15 years now. Incidentally, her PhD study was also on community radio, she informs.“Community radio is something I have been associated with for a long time now. Previously, too, I have worked on various social issues using community radio, including women empowerment or policy advocacy,” she says.
Now, in the course of the next one year, she will be putting to good use her years of research in the field of community media and communication for development when she sits down to formulate the curriculum. To begin with, this curriculum will be put to test in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha, post which they will use it across the country.
She says, “While the first step will obviously be drafting a curriculum based on desk reviews, reading cases and my own research materials, I will be travelling to the United States and collaborating with Dr Shakuntala Rao, chair & professor, State University of New York, Plattsburgh Department of Communication Studies, to form a more holistic curriculum which is concurrent to the current state of affairs.” Another important aspect she will be focusing on is to understand the ground realities and challenges of the industry itself, for which, she will be interacting with journalists from the three states. “It’s very important to understand the dilemmas and know the real time challenges journalists face. Otherwise, the curriculum will be incomplete,” says Kanchan.
Post this, she will be conducting a two-day workshop with academic institutes, both private and government run, where she will disseminate the curriculum to them. Says the professor of Media Ethics, “The journalists will again have an open discussion with the academicians on how to go about teaching media ethics.” So, how is she planning to manage her hectic schedule now that she is bound to have so much on her plate? “Yes, it’s going to be quite hectic but I think I have come to a stage where I know how to manage time more judiciously. Also, the fact that the university has always supported professors to go beyond their teaching responsibilities is a big motivational factor,” she says.