TALKS of including a public relations course to the University of the South Pacific's journalism program are in the pipeline.
USP journalism head Professor Sudesh Mishra said the public relations (PR) course would enable students to critically evaluate issues at hand.
"The journalism program is designed to create critical thinkers and the PR course will allow that to happen in a larger way," he said.
Prof Mishra said "having a PR unit would be beneficial if taught in the right way".
The journalism advisory committee accepted the course in its first meeting on August 9. Journalism lecturer Dr Marc Edge said, "USP is moving towards a 24-course degree structure. There has been considerable discussion on our program advisory committee as to what the subject of the new unit should be," he said.
"We will either have public relations or public communication which is not just corporate communication or public relations but also NGOs and things like that because many students who graduate don't end up going to journalism but end up going into public relations."
Dr Edge said a PR person could be a journalist's best friend and by integrating a PR course into the program would allow students to have clearer sight of both sides.