About the Media Studies

    Objectives of Media Studies

    To create conducive environment for the teaching and research activities in the field of Media Studies.

    To provide more opportunities for the young undergraduates to study this emerging and promising field and to find employment in the Media which is considered the ‘Fourth Estate’ of the government system. 

    To incorporate other relevant fields fitting to this discipline such as international journalism and communication, gender and media, communication and conflict management, peace journalism and development communication. 

    To produce media undergraduates with professional skills and high standards with ethical considerations to the working journalism sector at local and national levels.

    To expand post graduate degree programmes and research degrees in the field of Media Studies in future. 


    Modest Beginning of the Journey

    Media Studies has a very modest beginning and notable history in the University of Jaffna. At the very early stage, it was introduced at the Faculty of Arts, as a part of literature studies, to promote the creative writing of the students. However, it is noteworthy that the then leading figures in the University and some well-wishers from the society especially from the media field determined to introduce media education from a critical sociological perspective. As a result, the University organized a society for film appreciation, by getting support from the interested parties to promote evaluation of the visual media. 


    Certificate Programme – A Pioneer Course

    The Extra Mural Studies Unit of the University conducted a Certificate Course in Journalism, which was one of the pioneering courses for media education in the Northern Province. The Certificate Course in Journalism, when it was introduced, did not purely depend on the University teachers, further acquired help from local journalists who were either professionals or working journalists. All those connected to Journalism - chief editors, news editors, reporters, photo journalists, printers, and distributors - were invited to give input and share their experiences as guest lecturer, which paved the way for the acceptance and utilization by academics, the resources of the local professional media. This course helped to educate not only the students of the University of Jaffna but also different categories of media personnel.


    Training Journalists and Establishment of a Resource Centre

    In early 2000s, University of Jaffna established a Media Resources and Training Centre (MRTC), a project supported by UNESCO, with the aim of providing professional media practice in Tamil media landscape.

    The Media Resources and Training Centre was acted as a platform for the formation of professional journalists in Tamil medium through training in the media field. Further it was operating as a servicing centre for the journalists in capacity building and creating an increasing awareness and understanding on the role of the media among the citizens in Northern Sri Lanka through provision of media literacy.


    At the Completion of foreign funding, MRTC winded up its activities in 31st of December 2016 and it has been transformed in the name of ‘Media Lab’ under the Media Studies, Faculty of Arts. 

    Commencement of Bachelors Degree in Media Studies

    In 2007, at the Faculty of Arts, the Media Studies curriculum was drafted with an emphasis on practical skills as well as the theories of communication, with the collaboration of the University of Linnaeus, Sweden. This was recommended as a subject of an Arts Degree, by the Faculty Board and by the Senate and eventually approved by the Council of University of Jaffna. Later, on 10th October 2013, the University Grants Commission approved this Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies Programme which was the first, and to date, the only degree programme in Media Studies in Tamil medium offered in Sri Lanka and attracts students from various regions. 

    In 2016, the curriculum of Media Studies was revisited in order to maintain the aspects of Sri Lanka Quality Framework and modified as per the Outcome Based Education (OBE) and Students Centered Learning (SCL).

    At present, Media Studies is functioning under the patronage of Dean, Faculty of Arts and offering Bachelor Degree programme in Media Studies and it will reach the status of the Department very soon.


    Moving Towards Marketable Graduates..

    The Bachelor of Arts Degree in Media Studies offered by the Faculty of Arts, University of Jaffna is a pioneering effort and a response to the need of the time by offering theories and academic analysis of the Mass Media and providing practical proficiency in print, electronic and new media for the students expects to enter into media and relevant world. The programme provides a great strength and facilitates to create Media Studies graduates with the professional skills, knowledge and principles to find employment as Journalists, Press Officers, Information Officers, Advertisers, Documentary and Feature Film Makers and Public Relations Officers at regional and national level. It also affords the graduates with great potentials to be self-employed as small scale entrepreneurs considering the vast horizons of media and as teachers of Media Studies in schools and universities.

    The long standing civil conflict and the unsettled conditions in the Northern Province affected the media environment severely and created the impacts in the quality of professional journalism and its ethical norms. The Media Studies Degree Programme would eliminate the above gap and provide more opportunities to the youngsters to enter the field with appropriate educational background. 

    Further, it is certain that the streams like Conflict Sensitive Journalism, Non-violent Communication and Media Culture which are the part of the curriculum would lead the young journalists with the conviction of social harmony through media activities.

    There is an increasing need and demand in the media industry of Sri Lanka for professional journalism with the rise of new newspapers, radio and television channels and the growth of online journalism. Schools have already addressed this need by including ‘Communication and Media Studies’ as one of the subjects in Ordinary and Advanced Levels. It has been included in the G.C.E. (O/L) since 2007 and in the G.C.E. (A/L) since 2010 in the school curriculum. The Media Studies considered the opportunities of continuum in this regard via university education. 

    Considering the excellence of the stakeholders of this degree programme and to increase their employability, Media Studies is continuously in consultation with the professionals in media industries: Editors of dailies from Colombo and Jaffna, Channel Heads of Television services, Advertising Agencies, Film Makers and Senior Academics in Media and Communication are consulted during the development of the curriculum and pedagogical processes. Further, various interested parties such as government media channels, government institutions, and other state universities are looking forward to collaborate with the Media Studies to extend their media related activities in the Northern Province. 


    Graduate Profile of Media Studies

    On successful completion of the Bachelor Degree in Media Studies, graduates should be able to: 

    1. Have a clear understanding of the principles of communication.
    2. Articulate their knowledge with critical perspective in media and, law and ethics.
    3. Manage and use writing and reporting techniques in print media and technical production in television and radio programmes
    4. Apply critical thinking skills and problem-solving techniques for data gathering, processing and analysis in media research.
    5. Apply rational thinking that enhances the ability to form logical conclusions and make informed decisions across all disciplines.
    6. Demonstrate the organizational skills and discipline necessary for effective work habits, whether working individually or in groups in field work particularly in professional media field.
    7. Demonstrate an understanding the issues relevant to popular culture, gender in media, alternative media and intercultural communication and conflict sensitive journalism.
    8. Consider the influences current events have on the global scene and identify avenues for responding to such influences via media.
    9. Demonstrate the skills necessary to locate and evaluate information in order to pursue career options in professional media field.
    10. Be equipped to continue education consistent with that graduate’s gifts and abilities.
    11. Receive and interpret information, express ideas and share knowledge with diverse audiences in a range of media and formats. 
    12. Establish a rapport and build collaborative relationships with individuals, groups and, media outlets.
    13. Lifelong learners, to show resilience, involve proactively and an ability to make principled decisions in academic and professional spheres. 
    © 2018 Faculty of Arts, University of Jaffna.

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