Globalization and the Cagli Project
Globalization is the mantra that seems to be driving much that
is new in higher education today. It has its roots in the “global
economy” and seems relevant mostly to the business disciplines.
But there is a sub-text to globalization that resonates throughout
all our institutions, and that is “diversity.” When
we speak of diversity, we mean it in all its forms – ethnic,
religious, racial, cultural and geographical. On the campuses of
big state universities, diversity is a function of being public.
But at most private colleges, especially the smaller ones, diversity
exists mostly in programs and outreach activities. So instead,
we encourage our students to “immerse” themselves in
alien cultures in programs abroad.
The Communication discipline
is uniquely positioned to respond to both globalization and diversity.
This is the age of the “foreign
correspondent.” Embedded or not, there have never been more
opportunities and outlets for journalists to practice their profession
in foreign lands –for cable news outlets, for radio and TV
stations, for newspapers, for web journals, for magazines. Yet
very little is being done at both the undergraduate and graduate
level to direct journalism students toward the career possibilities
in being foreign correspondents. Nor is the discipline reaching
out to students in other areas -- history, classics, economics,
political science, philosophy, theology, languages, area studies
-- to welcome them into what was once a highly specialized and
We are now in the third year of The Cagli Project.
We have demonstrated that undergraduate students from disparate
disciplines could come
together and not only create a new journalistic form, the web documentary,
but also practice international journalism at the grass roots level.
So much that passes for education in international media is purely
theoretical – focusing on comparative media systems, media
law, and forays into the centers of global media power. As director
of the project, it was always my intent to develop a template for
international media education that could be applied directly from
one venue to another. We are now ready to carry the message forward.
the Handbook goes to press, the development of an Institute for
International Media Education is being conceptualized. This
institute would offer many Cagli-style international projects
that would introduce American undergraduates to the practice of
correspondency in one of the most intense immersion experiences
available in higher education today. The institute would bring
together faculty and students from many colleges and forge close
links to practicing correspondents through such organizations
as The Overseas Press Club. The Institute for International Media
Education would be a logical construct for forming consortia,
grants, running seminars and conferences, and assisting other
institutions that might want to begin similar programs.
In our three
years, 17 faculty from Loyola, Gonzaga and Creighton have teamed
to create our unique approach. In all, 89 students
from six colleges are contributing feedback to further refine
the program. The experiment is over. Watch for future developments.
Director, The Cagli Project
Loyola College in Maryland