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Aigul Gilmanova: "We are developing competencies that will allow us to work not only in the media, but in the field of public relations and SMM"

The Russian Islamic Institute has a direction called "Journalism ". Aigul Gilmanova, Head of the Department of Journalism of the Kazan University, spoke about the training of future professionals in the field of covering national and religious topics in an interview with

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Aigul Nurgayanovna, tell me, are there any specifics of training journalists at a university with a religious orientation?

– The direction “Journalism” has existed at the Russian Islamic Institute for ten years. Our graduates successfully work in the media, in press services, in the field of advertising and SMM. The specificity is that we recruit a mixed group and the subjects are taught in Russian, but the backbone of the Department of Journalism consists of specialists in Tatar journalism from the Institute of Social Philosophical Sciences and Mass Communications of KFU, as well as practitioners from the republican media. Therefore, students who speak and write in Tatar, we strive to focus on the internship in the Tatar editions on television, radio, online media, we give for the study of the topic of term papers and final qualifying works on Tatar journalism. Students write and defend these works in the Tatar language. At the Academic Council of the Russian Islamic Institute, I raised the issue of professional training of national personnel for the Tatar media, the leadership of the university supported me, but at the moment we cannot single out students who speak and write in the Tatar language into a separate group, since the guys who speak the Tatar language enter few. In the curriculum, we introduced the subjects "Tatar language", "History of Tatar journalism", "Regional journalism", "Tatar calendars", "Tatar theological heritage". Students also study two foreign languages ​​Arabic and English.

– How can I enter a university?

- Many people think that if a university is private, then education in it is paid, but this is not so. In priority areas such as "Theology" and "Journalism", full-time education at the Russian Islamic Institute is free. In the direction of "Journalism" 25 places are allocated annually for the full-time department. There is a correspondence course. We have a difficult exam - this is literature and the Russian language. The guys who graduated from college take exams inside the university. All areas of training at the university are accredited by Rosobrnadzor, which means that the curricula comply with the Federal State Educational Standards, and the university has the right to issue state-recognized bachelor's and master's degrees, recognized throughout the Russian Federation, by all organizations - both commercial, and state, and religious.

People have little idea of ​​studying in a religious educational institution. Can we say that there is a special atmosphere here?

- I came to the Russian Islamic Institute as an hourly part-time worker, being an associate professor at the Faculty of Journalism of KFU. Like many others, she believed that only hazrats were trained in this university for mosques and teaching was only in the Tatar language. I was very surprised that RII decided to open the direction of journalism. Indeed, until that moment, not a single university in Tatarstan, except KFU, was engaged in the training of journalists. This is not such a popular direction as economics or jurisprudence. To organize a high-quality educational process, it is necessary to purchase expensive equipment for photo, audio, video filming, to attract practitioners from the media to transfer skills. Gradually, the process dragged me on, and I moved to this university completely. Yes, you are right, the atmosphere is different from other universities. Within the walls of the RII, I take a break from the race and aggression that surrounds me outside the university building. I come to my second home. I am always welcome here, everyone smiles and treats each other kindly. They try to help, suggest, support. It is in this university that I want to implement conceived projects that take time. It is very important that the leadership is always available for conversation and hears the head of the department. The university has the rules of Muslim etiquette for communication between men and women, a dress code has been established: all women go with a covered head - it can be a turban, a hat, a scarf. Boys and girls study together, but do not sit at the same desk with each other. Previously, this was unusual for me, and even came to a curiosity. For example, when I visited the vice-rector's office, it was not clear to me why he opens the door. It is not customary for Muslims to leave a man and a woman alone. For the safety of the woman, the door remains open during the conversation. For me at first it was uncomfortable to talk with the open door, and I tried to close it. Now, when I remember, I laugh. Gradually, studying Islam, you understand the deep meaning of these rules, which are designed to protect a weak person from temptation. Now these rules have become the norm for me.

How does RII attract students, what are its competitive advantages, as they say?– The Russian Islamic Institute is one of the strongest universities in Russia that trains religious personnel. Students from different regions come here, so the training is conducted in Russian so that everyone can get a quality education. There was a case when a Muslim girl was transferred to us from a state university in Udmurtia, from the budget, in order to study in a Muslim environment. RII has created comfortable conditions for observant Muslims. For girls there is a room for prayer, for guys next to the university there is a mosque "Eniler". Taharat rooms are equipped. For the daytime prayer, a big break is allocated, calculated so that you can have time to read the prayer and have lunch. In the dining room, all dishes are prepared according to the halal standard. Meals for students and faculty are subsidized and inexpensive.

– And what is the technical equipment of the university?

- The university is very well equipped technically. Two computer labs, each room has a demonstration equipment connected to the Internet. This allows you to fully work with students. The faculty of journalism has its own studio and editing machines, which are used by future journalists.

– Will RII graduates be able to work in socio-political media?

– Yes, definitely. We work according to the state standard 42.03.02. "Journalism", which means that the basic part of the curriculum is the same for all Russian universities teaching in the direction of "Journalism". The variable part in RII is filled with religious disciplines. Students will gain knowledge and skills to work in any media, both secular and religious. I carefully monitor the job market and jobs in the media, advertising, public relations, SMM and see that the competencies of a journalist and a public relations specialist are merging. Also, the skills of working with social networks, setting up targeted advertising for different platforms have become a requirement of the time. We have introduced disciplines into the curriculum that form these competencies. Teachers of the Department of Journalism constantly undergo advanced training, retraining, therefore they are able to teach modern subjects. Our graduates will be able to work as correspondents for television, radio, online media, print media, as well as public relations specialists, press secretaries, SMM specialists, content managers, and advertising specialists.

- What will school graduates who choose the direction of "Journalism" at RII learn?

– We strive for theory to go hand with practice. The student must constantly cooperate with the editors of the media, teachers must be "playing coaches", not only theorists-researchers, but also journalists-practitioners. The RII has its own media: educational electronic newspaper "Shakird", Information and educational site "Islamic portal". There, during the semester, students hone their "feathers", and after the first semester they go to practice in professional media: TV channels, radio channels, newspapers, magazines, the Internet. The university has photo and video equipment for conducting classes in editing and filming, a television studio is equipped. Classes are taught by professional journalists who have not only defended dissertations in the specialty "Journalism", but also have experience in the media.

Graduates must have the skills of a universal journalist: create media content, taking into account the specifics of the media, shoot, edit, voice a TV story, make up a print publication, organize public relations events, create an image of an organization, promote in social networks. Practice in the media begins with our students from the first year. Already after the first practice, many are invited to work in both secular and religious media. They are asking for journalists with knowledge of two languages, Tatar and Russian.

Many mosque leaders realize that they need a content creation specialist and invite our students to work. By they graduate and receive their diplomas, all our students are already working.