ACJ- UNICEF Collaboration
Asian College of Journalism firmly believes that journalists, especially in Asian countries today, have an important role to play in increasing public understanding of the fundamental and often complex problems of our societies, avoiding the traps of superficiality and dilettantism. It is this belief in the importance of being aware of some of the social, cultural and economic issues that are an integral part of our environment that forms the rationale for this collaboration with the UNICEF: that journalists must be aware of what is happening to children all over the world, especially in the context of great poverty and inequality, as is the case with many South Asian countries, and India in particular.
ACJ has entered into collaboration with UNICEF, since 2012. This partnership began with the introduction of an elective on children titled ‘Child Rights’ to orient students of journalism on pertinent issues relating to children and the guidelines for responsible reporting of the same. Today, the collaboration spans across diverse activities as listed below:
The ‘Child Rights’ elective, spread over 22 lectures, endeavours to combine theory and practice to provide students a holistic understanding of the issues they investigate in a socio-cultural, political and economic context. The course is divided into three units- (1) Human Rights and Child Rights (2) Major issues affecting children (3) Child Rights, Media Representation and Professional Journalism Practices.
A day-long theme-based seminar on children’s issues will be organized for students of the ACJ. Resource people from the press, civil society organizations, academic institutions and UNICEF will be invited to participate in the seminar.
Students from all the four streams (Print, Television, Radio and New Media) will be systematically identified and briefed before the covering deprivation trip. These students are expected to cover issues regarding children from the rural hinterland.The result of this endeavour includes reports, feature articles, blogs, podcasts and documentaries. These will be archived at the end of the academic year.
Online Advocacy and Digital Archival of the student’s reportage on children
The students of the ACJ will not only cover (tweet, live blog, etc) events held in the college such as the seminars, but will also work at creating an online platform to archive the multi-media stories ( audio, video and text) regarding children. Despite constituting 41 percent of the Indian population, children do not receive adequate coverage in the mainstream media. As a step forward, ACJ in collaboration with UNICEF will archive the ACJ students’ reportage on children from the covering deprivation trip in an exclusive website dedicated for children. In the coming years, this website will act as a tool for online advocacy in the field of child rights.
Media Mapping Research
A media mapping exercise exploring the media coverage of issues pertaining to children will be undertaken by ACJ. Through this research, the ACJ seeks to fill the existing gap in the field of research to understand how issues pertaining to children have been covered by the media. The outcome of the media mapping research will be submitted to UNICEF for research advocacy.