Tuesday, April 21, 2015

State Dept. to Offer Course on Ethics for Journalists: 'Blurred Lines'

     The U.S. State Department is looking to design and facilitate a media ethics course for journalists in India, and has even proposed appropriating the name of Robin Thicke's 2013 hit "Blurred Lines" as a title for the course. The U.S. Consulate General in Hyderabad, India is looking for a non-profit to co-develop the course to help Indian journalists gain a "baseline understanding of the international industry standards," including "accuracy, honesty, transparency, impartiality, and accountability," and is willing to spend $20,000 - $25,000 on it.
     The grant documents note that credibility is a key part of journalists' jobs to "keep their readership informed, hold us all accountable, filter fact from fiction, and unmask false narratives masquerading as truth." To that end, the State Department would like a full-time faculty member to propose curriculum content and develop a syllabus tailored to communicate journalistic standards to an Indian university audience. Additionally, the grant calls for a "U.S.-based, university-level journalism professor," suggested by the non-profit subject to approval by the State Department, to act as consultant in the development of the course.
     Once the course preparation is complete, the journalism professor will visit India at least three times: to meet with the coordinating university in India and "observe existing on-the-job training in various media houses", to conduct a three day seminar for other stakeholders, and to participate in first offering of the newly-designed course. The grant specifies that both the accommodations for the professor and the venue for the seminar must be a four-star hotel.
    The Indian universities of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Odisha are singled as as participants in this project, but once developed, the State Department plans to make the material available for potential use by other diplomatic offices around India in coordination with other Indian universities around the country.
    The grant announcement for "Blurred Lines" comes a month after Robin Thicke and co-songwriter Pharrell Williams were found by a court to have been guilty of their own ethical lapses in the writing of the song of the same name. The two have been ordered to pay over $7 million to Marvin Gaye's estate over plagiarism of Gaye's 1977 song "Got to Give It Up."

Note: A version of this post first appeared at The Weekly Standard.

No comments:

Post a Comment