SEARCH 2 2010
SEARCH 2 2010
SEARCH 2 2010
Limitations and Potential of the Internet in Journalism Practice in Iran
Ali A. Kia
Radio and television in Iran are owned and run by the government. Also, as stipulated by the Press Law, all print publications operate only under the supervision of the government. Violators under the Press Law will be tried in special courts established for such purpose. Violations include calumny,1 blasphemy, circulating false information, propagating against the ruling body, jeopardising national security and insulting the leader. According to the Press Law enacted on 19 March 1986, “the mission of the press is to enlighten public opinion, advance the objectives of Iran, counteract internal division among citizens, propagate Islamic culture and principles, and reject manifestations of imperialistic culture as well as foreign politics and policies. Publications must not conflict with any of these enumerated goals.” As stipulated by these statutes, all publications need to be licensed by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance and no one may, without a license or anonymously, publish any material. Given the oppressive media environment, has the Internet offered Iranian journalists a way to break free from this political stranglehold? Has the Internet effectively offered Iranian journalists a new tool for research and, therefore, enabled them to report with greater freedom? Or, has journalism in Iran remained the way it was before the Internet became part of every day life among the Iranian people? This paper, which is drawn from interviews with journalists and media executives in Teheran, explains the limitations–and potential–of what is often assumed to be the Internet’s inherent transformative influence and enabler of freer expression in general.
Keywords: Role of Internet, journalism practice, Iran
Pages: 1-11 | First Published: 1 March 2010| PDF |
SEARCH 2 2010
Radio as an Educational Media: Impact on Agricultural Development
* Mohammad Reza Nazari & Abu Hassan Hasbullah
The radio is a powerful communication tool. It has proved to be the most effective media in promoting agriculture and development in rural areas, particularly as a tool for the delivery of quick information. A quasi-experimental study was designed to determine the effectiveness of the radio as an educational media to transfer agricultural information to farmers. A total of 161 subjects were selected randomly from Fars province, Iran. After determining educational goals of study, a questionnaire was prepared for the pre- and post-tests. Based on educational content, a radio programme was produced on fighting against agricultural pests, and the correct method of using agricultural poisons. Participants responded to the pre -test one week before broadcasting the radio programme through the provincial broadcast centre of Fars. The post-test was conducted after broadcasting the radio programme. The results indicate that the majority of the respondents were male (91.3%) and married (81%). About 14.9% of the respondents were illiterate with most being between 41 – 50 years old (28.9%); 68.3% believed that producing suitable agricultural programmes in the language and culture of the region could be very effective. The findings of the study also show that educational intervention through radio resulted in significant knowledge enhancement (3.99 to 6.41 out of 10). These results clearly indicate the effective role of radio in improving awareness of farmers (p∠0.001). Radio remains a vital part of development and farming systems; agricultural education intervention programmes will be more fruitful if they are conveyed through the radio. Such programmes should result in heightened farmer awareness.
Keywords: Media, radio, education, agriculture
Pages: 13-20 | First Published: 1 March 2010| PDF |
SEARCH 2 2010
Essence of Ethics in Communication in a Global Climate
The implications of unethical conduct can no longer be overlooked if the intention is to protect one’s reputation, hence the importance of having detailed codes of ethics and quality communication devices in business. The cultivation of a moral culture through appropriate modes of communication is a necessary condition if the business corporation is to preserve its reputation and maintain good business relations worldwide. Good communication is a pre-condition if this is to be achieved as ethical differences may arise from divergences in culture across borders. New demands associated with globalisation incorporate a need for greater vision, creativity and quality communication, and therefore requiring the essence of ethics in communication. Often, miscommunication distorts information, with the potential to lead to ethical issues that can be costly to the business entity. At a micro-level, corporate codes of ethics should complement communication. While business partners fulfil their responsibility towards their stakeholders, it is the duty of CEOs to foster corporate social responsibility and sustain efforts towards the convergence of ethics by providing the necessary infrastructure at the organisational level. This includes putting in place appropriate communication mechanisms and ensuring adherence to codes of ethics. Such initiatives would help maintain healthy business relations while contributing to sustained competitive advantage and economic growth. This paper focuses on how to potentially foster ethics and socially responsible behaviour through good communication.
Keywords: Ethics, business, communication, socially responsible behaviour, globalisation
Pages: 21-31 | First Published: 1 March 2010| PDF |
SEARCH 2 2010
Representation of French Muslim Minorities in a New Zealand Newspaper*
Shah M. Nister J. Kabir
The relationships between race, religion and poverty have created a dangerous equation in France, and their destabilising effects are visible in current French society. Based on an analysis of news coverage, however, this study suggests that the newspaper, The Press downplayed a major social crisis facing Muslim minorities by focusing on an imaginary issue, Islamism, in the context of suburban rioting in France. This study also recognises that The Press proposed a two-dimensional framework: racial discrimination and Islamism. The Islamism framework, however, most of the times overlapped the racial framework and the Muslim community was linked with fundamentalism and extremism. Besides this, the social position of the people involved in the suburban protest was devalued through narratives suggesting that they were anti-social.
Keywords: Muslims, Islamism, riots, France
Pages: 33-46 | First Published: 1 March 2010| PDF |
SEARCH 2 2010
The New Face of Media in Post-Soviet Countries: an Empirical Study of the Perception of Journalism Students Towards Media in Kyrgyzstan
Elif Asude Tunca
The Mass Media is the most important public organiser as well as a source of active power not only in democratic environments but also in countries going through the process of democratisation. The collapse of the USSR revealed that the media was used by the political structure in the Soviet bloc as a means of propaganda at the service of existing economic and social policy structures. After the independence of these states, mass media changed for the purpose of informing and forming societies within a democratic frame, and now have an influence on societies that think and criticize. In other words we see the mass media, which not only has an important role in the interactive structure of informing the society but also being directed by society. In the two years of independence through late 1993, Kyrgyzstan’s newspapers enjoyed the most freedom compared to any of the Central Asian nations. Newspapers were able to discuss issues of public interest closely, in spite of the power of a state censorship committee which required submission of materials in advance of publication. But since 1993, the government has moved to impose greater control over access to news and its production resources. Besides the attempts of the government to impose control over the media, the Kyrgyz media have begun to face and suffer many economic and technical problems, i.e. insufficient technical supplies; financial and modernisation problems in accordance with the demands of time and audience; and adaptation into the new order arising in the country. In light of the above mentioned problems, it is important to survey the outlook of journalism students – the potential employees of Kyrgyz media – and their perception of the media. This paper identifies and questions the points of view of students enrolled in Kyrgyzstan’s Journalism Faculties/Departments about the role of media in the development of democracy and the process of democratisation in their country. The problems of the Kyrgyz media – after the collapse of the Soviet Union – will be identified and questioned. A field survey was done among the students of all eight Journalism Departments/Faculties in the country.
Keywords: Perception of democracy, Kyrgyz media, journalism departments/ faculties in Kyrgyzstan
Pages: 47-67 | First Published: 1 March 2010| PDF |
SEARCH 2 2010
Concept of ‘Glass Ceiling’ in the Print Media of Pakistan
The ‘glass ceiling’ is a concept that frequently refers to barriers faced by women, who attempt or aspire to attain senior positions in any organisation. It is a barrier that prevents women in any organisation to excel or reach the top position. Print media is of vital importance as compared to other media. The concept of glass ceiling prevails strongly in the print media of Pakistan which has a less number of female staff, particularly working at higher levels and positions. Policy makers are males, therefore the policies made are based on the requirements of the male population in these organisations. The study concludes that though gender discrimination is present, there are opportunities for women as well. They will have to come forward and work towards opening the doors of this field for other women as well.
Keywords: ‘Glass Ceiling’ concept, print media, Pakistan
Pages: 69-77 | First Published: 1 March 2010| PDF |
SEARCH 2 2010
Using Online Discussion Boards to Promote Active Learning in Formulating Research Questions
* Rajani Chandra Mohan, Premala Balasubramaniam & Indraselvi Pararajasingam
In the past ten years, asynchronous communication media such as Online Discussion Boards have been used widely in schools as well as in tertiary institutions. Simultaneously, pedagogical practice has leaned towards student-centred learning. As such, there is a need to investigate the role of an asynchronous communication medium such as the Blackboard Learning System in promoting a student-centred learning environment. This study aims to examine if online discussion boards are conducive for students to interact and engage in active learning which is a central concept of student-centred learning, derived from the constructivist approach. In this study, students of English as a Second language (ESL) studies in the South Australian Matriculation (SAM) programme participated in an online discussion without the intervention of the teacher in order to formulate a focus question (research question). Twenty-seven students in the treatment group individually presented their focus question and the scope of their research paper via a discussion thread. Using this medium, these students were expected to give critical comments on the effectiveness of their classmates’ research questions. A control group consisting of 23 students was required to conduct similar discussions by using a more traditional means of face-to-face communication to construct and refine focus questions. The final focus questions and discussion threads were evaluated. The data showed that students in the treatment group had a significantly higher number of good focus questions that allowed for sufficient discussion of the research topic with clearly defined keywords and a narrow scope for indepth study, when compared to the control group. Analysis of the discussion threads also indicated that students were able to respond critically and constructively using the online discussion board.
Keywords: Asynchronous learning, student-centred learning, online discussion board, focus questions
Pages: 79-90 | First Published: 1 March 2010| PDF |
SEARCH 2 2010
A Hermeneutic Phenomenological Approach to Socio-cultural and Academic Adjustment Experiences of International Students
* Thavamalar Thuraisingam & Parvinder Kaur Hukam Singh
Malaysia has had a degree of success in establishing itself as a regional education hub in recent years and private higher education institutions are significant players that dominate the international student market because more than 50% of the international student population in Malaysia is enrolled in these institutions. The phenomenon of adjustment has not been studied extensively in the Malaysian setting. Therefore, this study sets out to investigate the essence of socio-cultural and academic adjustment experiences of international students in an established private higher education institution. The informants of this study comprised 21 international students from 7 countries. A multiple case study design was adopted. The semi-structured interview method of data collection was employed. The interviews were then recorded and transcribed verbatim. The themes were then captured in phenomenologically sensitive descriptions which resonate with the experiences of the international students – of strangeness, expectations and disillusionment, of divides and bonds, of perceptions, prejudice and culture, of challenges and achievements and of social support and neglect. Hofstede’s cultural dimensions were used to explore cross-case study differences in adjustment experiences and the dissonance they create for the individual and institution.
Keywords: Academic adjustment, international students, phenomenology, sociocultural adjusments
Pages: 91-113 | First Published: 1 March 2010| PDF |