It is no secret that there is no formal training for journalists, or any media position for that matter, in Belize. Many times, the people you see on local television and radio are thrown into the media world and are forced to learn as they go. Things are about to change, though, as a one-of-a-kind seminar will be taking place at the University of Belize next week. Dr. Chuck Pollak of Sharing International is key in organizing the seminar.
Dr. Chuck Pollak – Sharing International: “The University of Belize has invited us along with My Refuge Radio, has invited us to have a seminar starting this coming Wednesday evening on that very thing. We have three tracks: one is on air track which is anyone who wants to be on the air on radio or television, that includes journalism as well. The second would be leadership, anyone who wants to be the leader, the one who wants to make the decisions, finds out why and makes it possible and makes it successful. The third one is very new for us and we premiered this just two weeks ago in Nigeria and that is Video for Radio. We are not talking about featured length films here but we are talking about how to strategically use it to cause your radio station to have a more professional and a much more not only professional look but more success with the audience. So that is going to be happening on Wednesday night, through Thursday, through Friday and will end at about noon on Saturday. There is a cost for this but anyone who wants to invest in their own career, it’s worth it, it really is.”
Dr. Pollak hopes that this seminar is the first step into formal training for anyone who wants to be a part of the media. His goal is to see a Bachelor’s Program for media communications at the University of Belize.
Dr. Chuck Pollak – Sharing International: “One thing is missing that I see in other countries and that is once a Mass Media Industry is born in a country, very quickly the Universities and the Colleges establish a study program that leads to a degree in Mass Communication, in Mass Media, in Journalism. Belize to this point didn’t so about fifteen years ago we began to talk to the University of Belize, Galen University, St.John’s, we talked to a number but nothing happened until just recently with a new President, President Sankat from the University of Belize, forward thinker. We began talking about helping the University of Belize to begin something that would eventually be a full-on bachelors program in mass communication because let’s face it, every Mass Communication Industry has to have a formal study program because then everybody gets better, they do a better job, the more money comes into the system and more money for people to have a career in mass communication.”
The seminar starts at 7pm on Wednesday and will be all day on Thursday and Friday. It ends at midday on Saturday, however. The cost is $165 and at the end, participants receive a certificate from UB.///////