“It’s just the beginning for CommTV” – Dr. Harmi

By Muhammad Faiz

Changes are essential, especially in the media industry. The whole media industry changes every now and then that no such things are expected to stay or remain the same as things keep evolving. In a way, it does affect the education system and their curricula. The education system should mirror what exactly happens in the real world to prepare graduates for any trials and tribulations out there.

Given the challenges and stiff competition for graduates to enter the communication industry, the Department of Communication in IIUM has provided their students with appropriate platforms to acquire the necessary exposure and skills while still studying in the university.

It is not only useful for the university to have an excellent academic plan for the students, but there is also the real need to have appropriate platforms for students to put into practice their knowledge and skills they have learned in class.

For this the Communication Department has established four different entities – Communication Students Association (COSA), the Institute of Public Relations Malaysia Students Association (IPRMSA) – IIUM Chapter, IIUM.fm and IIUMToday – each with its own strength, specialisation and emphasis. In October this year, a new entity – CommTV – was born giving rise to another avenue for students to be involved in broadcast television.

IIUMToday recently interviewed the advisor of Comm TV, Dr. Harmi Taazim, to hear from him directly what’s exactly in store for the students in terms of preparing for the acquisition of broadcasting knowledge and skills.

What inspires you to start CommTV?

What inspires me to start CommTV is the real need for students to acquire practical work in television production. It will become easier soon when we have secured proper studio equipment. CommTV will be a useful platform for students to practise television works whether it is broadcasting, camera work or production work.

How long does the planning take before CommTV starts to operate?

It will take us some time to have this entity fully established as we are waiting for the production equipment. But it only took us one semester to plan and this semester marked the start of our operation.

What are the mission and the vision of CommTV?

We want to be known not only in IIUM but also from outside. We want to set a certain benchmark to compete with other universities and to show the potentials in IIUM students. Even though we only started about one month ago, we are happy to see that our programmes have reached a few thousands viewers. We believe that if it is properly managed, CommTV has the potential to go far.

What kind of programmes would you like to see on CommTV ?

As of now, we only have talk shows because it is a much comfortable choice for the students. Five of them, actually. In the upcoming semester, we will add another five programmes focusing on intellectual, academic and Islamic contents. We will also have our daily news in collaboration with IIUMToday. We look forward to work with other entities in Communication Department.

Will other programmes be in the form of talk shows?

We will stick with talk shows for the time being.  If we were to have it in another form, it would be too time-consuming for the students. Therefore, a talk show is much more appropriate and relevant for now. However, if in the future we have more members, perhaps we will do other types of programme.

What has been your proudest moment for CommTV so far?

It was the first time we went on air live on Facebook.  I can see and show to other people that we managed to go on air after a lot of hard work that many had contributed.

As one might say, a great advisor will have great students following their advice and doing the work. One of them is the Assistant Head and the Head of Producers of CommTV, Maryam Marissa, and a few other producers who have gained experiences from IIUMToday.

Managing resources and future plan

IIUMToday had asked Maryam on her experience leading CommTV. In response Maryam said that she experienced and learned many things such as in managing different kinds of people. She also said that she learned how to handle equipment and live production of a programme by “tasting a little bit of reality”.

“Every second of my involvement in CommTV is something to be treasured. However, I should say managing my show, Nightingale, is one of my favourites as we have the least number of members in a team, yet we managed to deliver with so much fun,” she added.

As for Noor Helmie who produced “Inspirasi: Luahan Insan”, he expressed that it was definitely a challenging experience to handle his team and execute a good show weekly. He also said that his team members work hard to produce a programme. Asked about his biggest lesson, he said, “I learned more on how to manage my contents and to make it acceptable for the audience.”

“I look forward to further improve on my programming so that it will become much better. Not only that, I want my programme to have contents that are of quality,” he added.

Farizan Razak, a producer for La Femme, a show ‘for women by women’, also shared her thoughts with IIUMToday. She said her experience as a producer is basically a learning experience.

“I learned more by getting to know the nature of people’s behaviour and how to control my emotions as a producer. It is definitely hard to lead a team to produce a reasonably good content. Alhamdulillah, all of my teammates are very helpful and creative at the same time in making sure our show is appealing,” she added.

Asked about her biggest lesson, she said that she now understood how it felt like to be producing a television programme. Not only that, she also learned how to manage time carefully as it is crucial to get all done correctly.

“I hope that my show get recognised by all other students within and outside the university campus. By creating more contents for the viewers, I hope La Femme would be known.”

Replying to the question on their future hope for CommTV, Helmie had this to say: I want CommTV to be a training ground for communication students who plan to enter the broadcasting industry.

“We must be realistic to keep things simple but professional,” Farizan added.

Maryam expressed the hope that CommTV would be a great platform for all communication students to learn about the television industry.

Meanwhile, Dr. Harmi hoped that more students will join CommTV so that we can do more to achieve greater success. ***

Muhammad Faiz

21, always trying to save the world. I believe I could, so I did.

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