Curtin Malaysia sets up broadcast studio

Teaching of broadcast journalism units enhanced with industry-standard radio continuity studio.

MIRI: Curtin University Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) has launched a industry-standard radio continuity studio (broadcasting studio) at its campus for the teaching of related broadcast journalism in line with the introduction of its journalism stream under its Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication.

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 studio 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 included 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 in learning and refining their skills with equipment used in some of the world’s best radio stations.

In the broadcast journalism unit, students learn and practise aspects of broadcast journalism and develop their multi-platform journalistic skillset by producing recorded radio stories and a smart-phone essay. They 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.

“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,” said Tharshni.

“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.” Tharshni said the studio holds a lot of potential 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 the opening of the continuity studio 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 practised.

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.

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.

In their third and final year, students will undertake study in 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 they are able to react to the demands of the modern news environment.