Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

Vice President Supports COM-FSM Media Studies Program Proposal

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Service): August 5, 1997 - FSM Vice President Leo A. Falcam, in a July 28, 1997, letter to Vice President for Academic Affairs, COM-FSM, offers support for the proposal to develop a Micronesian Media Studies Program at COM-FSM.

"I have noted the importance of having well trained local journalist who see and interpret events through local "eyes" and appreciate, respect and are sensitive to our local culture," Falcam said.

The curriculum should be of local orientation in order that it will attract students to pursue journalism as a career. He further stated that all FSM supports freedom of the press and encourage responsible journalism.

The Micronesian Media Studies Program proposal including course outlines and contents will be presented to the COM-FSM Curriculum Committee late August or early September for its approval, says Thomas Panholzer in a telephone interview, an English Associate professor who will, in all likelihood, be responsible for developing the curriculum and selecting suitable text books. The course outline must meet the accreditation standards and requirements compatible to other colleges in the United States.

COM-FSM Curriculum Committee is composed of the various department heads or their representatives who after critically review a proposal gives it approval or disapproval of a proposal.

Saying he is optimistic about the proposal, Panholzer says he anticipates inclusion of such courses as Introductory to Photography; Introductory to Journalism, 101 and 246, Ethics in Journalism; News writing; Speech Communication; Introduction to Public Speaking; Electronic media; Comparative Journalism, etc.

He sees potential benefits that such fields may offer for public relations persons in government and in the private sectors such as advertisement writers for the stores and for free lance writers who can sell their materials to news media organizations.

If the Committee approves the proposal and if there are at least seven students enrolled, the course may begin as early as January 1998. With an additional teaching staff and an enrollment from 15 to 20 students, full implementation can begin by September 1998, Panholzer said.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356