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All-out effort to impart necessary knowledge, skills

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An exclusive interview with Chairman Mass Communication Department Allama Iqbal Open University, Islamabad, Dr. Saqib Riaz

An exclusive interview with Chairman Mass Communication Department Allama Iqbal Open University, Islamabad, Dr. Saqib Riaz

Mubashar Naqvi

ISLAMABAD: Chairman Mass Communication Department Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) Islamabad, Dr. Saqib Riaz has said that his department is taking all out efforts to impart necessary knowledge and skills to the students and professionals throughout the country to deal with the fast changing media landscape in Pakistan.

In an exclusive interview here Sunday, he said curriculum is being updated while special courses and programs are being introduced in the university to counter the challenges of today’s media.

Chairman said the objective of the Mass Communication Programs offered by AIOU is to equip students and professional to understand the dynamics of the communication and various social phenomena in Pakistan.

He added that these programs are specifically enabling students to independently investigate the contents, uses, and effects of mass media in society.

Dr. Saqib Riaz said through quality and variety of media and mass communication courses, thousands of enrolled students are being imparted value based education from graduation to PhD level.

He said that thousands of students across the country are interested in the Mass Communication programs from Graduation to PhD level and enrollment in higher education program is strictly on merit based.

About the higher educational program, he said MS/MPhil programs aim at contributing necessary baseline inputs through scholarly researches to policy makers in important areas of decision-making. Most importantly, the theoretical and methodological depth and breadth and the perceptiveness of the program’s coursework have already won experts’ acclaim.

Commenting on the interaction between students and professionals of media industry, he said through different seminars, conferences and symposiums, the students of mass communication departments are being provided opportunities to interact with the senior journalists and other personalities from the media industry.

He underlined the need of exploiting the social media for giving the country’s positive image to world as well as developing the society on optimistic line. “Social media has been made the part of curriculum and courses at graduation level and will be further incorporated in higher classes”, he added.

About the fee structure of mass communication courses, Dr. Riaz told that university not only providing free of cost educational facilities to marginalized segments of the society like transgender and prisoners but also the free structure is lowest as compare of the other public or private sector universities.

In his message to youth particularly students, he said they must keep updating their knowledge and skills through the research and latest technological developments and utilize their full potential for the progress and prosperity of the country.

Dr. Saqib Riaz, the Chairman Mass Communication Department Allama Iqbal Open University has been associated with Indiana University Bloomington, USA where he completed his post-doctoral studies in 2013. He also got higher education in journalism and media studies from the International Institute of Journalism (IIJ), Berlin Germany in 2005.
He is a graduate of Punjab University, Lahore where he completed his Masters in Mass Communication in 1992. He completed his M.Phil and Ph.D theses under the supervision of late Dr. Miskeen Ali Hijazi, the founder of journalism education in Pakistan.

Dr. Saqib is delivering lectures in prominent universities in different parts of the world including United States and Germany. He has also the honor to address several national and international conferences and seminars held in different continents.

Dr. Saqib Riaz is author of several books on journalism and more than three dozen research articles published in national and international research journals. He served couple of Urdu newspapers as magazine editor before joining the academic profession. He has been member of the Censor Board of Pakistan Television in addition to several other country wide prestigious portfolios. Dr. Saqib brings an experience of more than 25 years in the field of academia as well as practical journalism.