Urbino instructor Bob Marshall was the reporter for a groundbreaking piece of journalism that won the “Gannett Award for Innovation in Watchdog Journalism” by The Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) organization.
The award was for “Losing Ground,” an interactive journalism project showing how much of coastal Louisiana has disappeared over the last 80 years. The story was reported by Bob Marshall of The Lens, along with application developers Al Shaw and Brian Jacobs of ProPublica. The piece utilized historical maps, aerial photos, and satellite images to show the devastation of the Louisiana coast over time.
The annual IRE Awards recognize outstanding investigative work and help identify the techniques and resources used to complete each story. “Not only did ‘Losing Ground’ apply innovative techniques coupled with extensive shoe leather reporting, it furthered The Lens’s ability to be a watchdog for its community,” the judges wrote.
Marshall, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, was an environmental reporter and columnist at The Times-Picayune (New Orleans) for more than 30 years. In 2013, he moved over to “The Lens,” a nonprofit, nonpartisan public-interest newsroom in New Orleans where he produces in-depth stories on wetlands restoration, flood protection, and coastal erosion.
Marshall taught reporting in Cagli, Italy in 2008 and in Urbino, Italy in 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. He will return to Urbino in 2015.
Two talented young photographers are the first recipients of ieiMedia’s James Foley Memorial Scholarship in International Photojournalism, established in honor of the photojournalist who was tragically executed last August while covering the war in Syria.Manuel J. Orbegozo, a senior at Humboldt State University in Arcata, California, received a $5,000 scholarship to attend the Urbino program. In 2012, Orbegozo worked as a photographer and writer at “Siete,” a weekly magazine based in Lima, Peru. There, he founded Azotea, a citizen journalism site that covered the capital’s political and cultural life. He is currently editor-in-chief of El Leñador, focused on the Latino community in Humboldt County. In his scholarship application, Orbegozo wrote, “As a college journalist, I realized that my degree could be achieved in a classroom, while my overall skills could only be refined through an experience abroad.”
Emily Teague, a freshman at California State University in Chico, received a $2,000 grant to attend the Jerusalem program. While still in high school, Teague was hired as a photojournalist for Chico State’s award-winning newspaper, The Orion. She was named “Best Photographer” on The Orion’s staff, and won fifth place in a national photojournalism competition at the Associated Collegiate Press. In September 2014 she photographed at the front lines of the “Flood Wall Street” direct action and at environmental protests in New York, Pittsburgh, and throughout California. She’s spending this semester traveling and photographing in Europe.
“We were impressed with the high level of work in many of the submissions,” says Dennis Chamberlin, photography instructor in the Urbino Program and a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist. Chamberlin and photo instructors Susan Biddle and Robert Reeder reviewed the applicants. “It was difficult for the jury to choose only one winner because there were several portfolios that were quite strong.”
In Urbino, Orbegozo will study with Chamberlin and Susan Biddle, former Washington Post staff photographer and White House photographer. In Jerusalem, Teague will work with Linda Gradstein, formerly of National Public Radio; Ilene Prusher of The Jerusalem Post; and Cathy Shafran, who has worked in the Jerusalem bureaus of ABC, CNN, Associated Press Television News, Britain’s ITN, and Canada’s CTV.
“This has been a successful inaugural program for this scholarship,” says ieiMedia president and founder Andrew Ciofalo. “We will continue to offer it next year as part of our commitment to emphasizing the importance of photojournalism in our program. The excellence of our applicants this year resulted in our establishing the Foley Grant in the amount of $2,000 for distinguished runners up. We plan to continue this grant as well.”
For summer 2015, ieiMedia welcomes four Research Fellows who will investigate the techniques and effectiveness of experiential learning, boot-camp teaching, short-term programs, and intercultural reporting in our programs in Urbino, Italy; Istanbul, Turkey; Valencia, Spain; and Nice, France.
The 2015 ieiMedia Research Fellows are:
In Urbino: Frank Garland, Journalism Communications Program director at Gannon University, Erie, Pennsylvania
In Istanbul: Jack Zibluk, Professor of Mass Media at Southeast Missouri State, Cape Girardeau, Missouri
In Valencia: Kanina Holmes, Assistant Professor of Journalism at Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario
In Nice: Sonya DiPalma, Assistant Professor of Mass Communications, University of North Carolina, Asheville
Research Fellows receive a $3,000 grant toward the $4,995 cost of our programs and will have regular informal access to the program faculty for pedagogical and theoretical exchanges. In addition, they will participate in one or more of the program’s practice modules and become a resource to faculty and students where appropriate. IeiMedia launched the Research Fellows program in 2014, when Barry Janes, professor of communication at Rider University, joined the team of the Urbino Program, where he participated in the video module and advised students in their projects.
“Our four awards this year mark a high point for this program,” says ieiMedia president and founder Andrew Ciofalo. “Our objective is to approve one for each or our seven programs. We will continue this because there is a need for exposing faculty to the value and methods of experiential teaching, especially in foreign settings where it is most effective.”
To apply: Write to Prof. Andrew Ciofalo, 4195 Tamiami Trail South #102, Venice FL 34293-5112. Explain your interest in this opportunity and how it might have an impact on your teaching or administrative role. If there is a particular research question you plan to address, please let us know. Include with the letter your vita, a letter of recommendation from your unit head, and a sample of or link to your writing, other work or research. We expect a written reflection at the end that you may also share with your department.
While ieiMedia is a non-denominational institute, its educational approach is better understood within the context of Ignatian philosophy that informs education at Jesuit universities. I am Professor Emeritus at Loyola University (Maryland), where I taught journalism for 27 years.
The ideals of Jesuit education involve engaging the world and the development of the whole person. Initiative, professionalism and citizenship—all fully graded components in ieiMedia summer programs abroad—are among the hallmarks of experiential learning that support the education of the whole person beyond the mere acquisition of media skills. Applied ethics underlies all student decisions and actions in an experiential learning environment. I believe that from the get go, students should be exposed to Joseph Pulitzer’s dictum, still found on the masthead of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, that places the practice of journalism at the service of those who have no voices in the halls of power. This is the secular root of all liberal journalism which intertwines very nicely with the “peace and justice” perspective we find threaded throughout Jesuit education today.
In field-based practica, the classroom gives way very early on to a collegial relationship between teacher and student, mimicking the relationship between editor and writer. Within that context the educational process becomes very individualized and uses the student’s mistakes and errors not to punish him but to exploit “learning opportunities”—the very essence of experiential learning.
Process courses, such as writing and reporting, usually work best when students are liberated from the inhibiting environment of the classroom. As long as the professor expounds from the front of the classroom, the student is kept in a receptive mode rather than interactive, regardless of how Socratic the method may be. Switching into a collegial mode accelerates learning at the cognitive level and, most importantly, reinforces the student’s self-awareness and ergo self-confidence. Launching the student on an inner journey of self discovery enables every aspect of cura personalis (care for the whole person).
In the typical lecture/discussion course, the opening salvo of overarching ideas and principles does little to foster the interactive learning environment. Thrusting students right into the fray, giving them the courage to make mistakes, builds the experiential skeleton which can later be fleshed out with theoretical concepts. When the professor and the student share a common experiential base, abstract discussions of principles and theory (including behaviors) are more cognitively effective.
In teaching long-form writing courses, the tendency is to start with various professional and literary models which through osmosis and analysis are supposed to inform the students’ understanding of what he is supposed to do. The fact is, the analysis will be better later on after the student has personally experienced the process and begun to find his own voice rather than mimic other voices.
My approach is to use a series of exercises to develop the building blocks students will need before creating their own narrative. At this stage, students need feedback and not a grade. In fact, it is the repetitive act of writing that activates new neural pathways to creativity. Peer learning is important at this stage because shared work shows how others are approaching the exact same material. This accelerates the learning process and reduces the number of writing tasks required to bring students to a common level of performance and understanding.
In the narrative stage, the role of the professor/colleague is to reference the text to the building blocks and ask the student to assess his own performance and do any necessary rewrites to enrich the various parts, sentence by sentence. At the same time, the student assesses his text to determine if it has met his objectives and if those objectives are of any value to the audience, and if not, how to reorganize to accomplish that goal. In many writing courses, it is one first draft, one rewrite and out. In experiential learning, one directs the student to restructure the narrative one step at a time (e.g., “This is good so far; now go back and add [this]”). A student’s achievement is best measured not by grading multiple articles based on a truncated two-step process; two narratives are all that is needed—a first narrative that is the product of multiple drafts, and a second narrative that is not subjected to a guided drafting process.
Building from the bottom up, that is the essence of Jesuit pedagogy.
“Louisiana’s Moon Shot,” the second in a two-part series on Louisiana’s rapidly disappearing coastline, was posted today. The story was reported and written by Urbino instructor Bob Marshall, with data reporting and maps by Al Shaw of ProPublica and Brian Jacobs of Knight-Mozilla OpenNews. You can read the piece and view the interactive maps at: http://projects.propublica.org/larestoration
Marshall covers environmental issues for The Lens, a nonprofit, nonpartisan public-interest newsroom in New Orleans. Before working at The Lens, he was a feature writer and columnist whose work at The Times-Picayune (New Orleans) earned two Pulitzer Prizes.
His most recent project called “Losing Ground” is an innovative piece of multimedia journalism written by Marshall with data reporting, maps and design created in cooperation with Al Shaw of ProPublica and Brian Jacobs of Knight-Mozilla Open News. The project appears at http://projects.propublica.org/louisiana. It is gaining significant national exposure. Marshall was recently interviewed on “All In with Chris Hayes” on MSNBC.
You can read the Salon article at: http://www.salon.com/2014/11/28/is_louisianas_coastline_beyond_saving_partner
More information about the Urbino project can be found here: http://ieimedia.com/urbino.
After five summers of teaching abroad with ieiMedia, I’ve seen students take different approaches to the study-abroad experience. Some mostly stick with their compatriots; others dive into the local community, seeking out cultural challenges.
Many of our students have described their experiences overseas as life-changing, but each year a few adventurous students get a little more out of it than others. Here are a few things I’ve learned from them:
1) Be curious. Studying – and, even more, reporting — abroad gives you the opportunity to peak behind the curtain of people’s lives. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Inquire about customs, foods, fashions and traditions that seem foreign to you. Most of the time locals are happy to share their culture with you.
2) Get to know your interpreters. Many of the ieiMedia interpreters are local students who are eager to practice their English and translation skills with visiting journalists. They can also offer a special window into their culture. One summer in Jerusalem, an interpreter invited me and a student to her family’s Old Jerusalem home to share the iftar break fast, the meal when Muslims end their daily Ramadan fast at sunset. Over the course of that dinner of chicken and yellow, spice-infused rice, it became clear that though the family lived in a predominantly Jewish city, the American student and I were the first Jewish people to ever visit their home. The interpreter’s mother and I didn’t speak each other’s language but, communicating through the young interpreter, we were able to forge a profound bond.
3) Become a regular. One of the biggest differences between touring and living in a community is that you get a chance to get to know regular people – not just hotel clerks and tour guides but shopkeepers and baristas. In each place I’ve taught, I’ve tried to develop a relationship with local people. In Perpignan, it was with the woman who ran the produce store near my apartment. As my French improved we would have simple chats about her cat and what fruits were best that day. In Jerusalem, I developed a fondness for the fresh halva sold at Halva Kingdom in the Machane Yehuda Market, where the proprietor and I would debate which was the best flavor of the sesame candy – pistachio, cashew, chocolate or coffee.
4) Network like crazy. In most ieiMedia programs, students have an opportunity to meet with local and international media professionals. But each summer a few students go beyond the routine smile and handshake and parlay those meetings into professional opportunities. One summer in Urbino, San Francisco State University photography student Giovanna Borgna published photographs with the local newspaper, il Resto del Carlino. In 2013, Amara McLaughlin of Mt. Royal University published a story and photos in The Jerusalem Post. Maya Shwayder, another Jerusalem student, so impressed the Post editors that she became the newspaper’s correspondent in New York and at the United Nations after she returned home. You can read her work on the newspaper’s website.
Taksim Square in Istanbul was jammed with protestors as summer 2013 approached. Our students in international reporting were scheduled to arrive in mid-June. Unlike many study abroad programs conducted from the relative safety of overseas campuses, our journalism students were involved in an experiential program that emphasized reporting from the community.
While no parents or students expressed any concern to us, some on our faculty were uneasy. Are we putting our students in harm’s way?
The ieiMedia advance party, including our program director and a faculty member, reported back that beyond Taksim Tquare life was normal and peaceful in Istanbul. They even walked through Taksim Square and reported that the atmosphere and action was much calmer than the daily images crowding TV screens back in the U.S.
Any decision on the safety of a program should not be based on the tunnel vision provided by the market demands of American media. We not only rely on first-hand observations, but we are governed by the U.S. State Department’s warning system about travel to particular countries.
For our students, being in Istanbul at this time was a bonanza. They could compare for themselves the exaggerated coverage in the media to the actual situation on the ground. They nibbled at the edges of Taksim, under faculty supervision, and engaged protest leaders in depth interviews well away from the action. And they balanced their approach with reports showing how other issues continue to concern Istanbul citizens beyond the noise of Taksim. The incredible stories they produced can be found at our 2013 project site, The Battle for Istanbul.
As we prepare for 2015, once again we are observing Istanbul and Israel very closely. For instance, we know that in Jerusalem, like Istanbul, the action is limited to small geographic pinpoints. TV (Tunnel Vision) makes the situation seem larger than life, but of greater concern are individual, private acts of violence between citizens. We have the option to make program adjustments that keep us mostly on the Hebrew University’s highly secure campus and to function in areas far from the conflict zones.
The fact that our students can be so productive in a stressful environment speaks volumes on their resumes. But most important, such programs challenge them to rise above the usual soft features to get at the underlying problems in a society. This is experiential learning at its best.
What happens when American Hip Hop fuses with the vibrant nightlife of Florence, Italy? You get an international vibe, a celebration of black music, dance, and street poetry reborn in Tuscany’s premier city for culture and art.
Hip Hop adds a new vernacular to ieiMedia’s study abroad program. Under the guidance of award-winning journalism and theatre faculty from Winston Salem State, North Carolina Central, and Florida A&M, students will have a dual opportunity this summer to perform hip hop while studying and producing multimedia stories about it in text, video, photography, broadcast, and sound.
Students will learn the story-telling skills of foreign correspondents. And they will wander the piazzas, cobblestone streets, boutiques, and galleries of a city that has more astonishing architecture and art per square meter than any other in the world.
This unique study tour will balance intensive multimedia practice in a specialty track of a student’s choice (print, broadcast, photography and publication design, or video) with free time to research, perform, and savor this magnet of Renaissance culture.
Climb the red-roofed Duomo designed by architect Filippo Brunelleschi, then join us for an excursion to the hilly, sun-drenched vineyards of Tuscany for wine and food tastings. Study Michelangelo’s magnificent statue of David in the Galleria dell’Accademia. Wander to the Piazza della Signoria after a rainstorm, and visit the Uffizi Gallery guarded by Perseus and the Gorgon.
At dusk, take in the nightlife of Florence’s vibrant clubs and dance and report your heart away.
The program–including accommodation, travel insurance, welcome and farewell dinners, program activities and cultural events–costs $4,995 plus airfare. For more details, see our full course description.
Urbino 2012 student Laura Weeks is featured on a blog for her company. She describes the importance of her Urbino experience when responding to the question, “What’s one of your biggest accomplishments?”
“In 2012, I spent a month in Italy studying multimedia journalism. Not only was it my first time out of the country, but we were in a town where very little English was spoken. Despite these challenges, I sought out my own story idea and developed it across written, visual and audio platforms. Running around the city, scheduling interviews and photo shoots, late-night editing sessions — I loved every second of it. In the end, my photography was voted No. 1 and article among the top five by our faculty, which included a Pulitzer-winning reporter, a Washington Post photographer and a former New York Times art director.”
Check out the blog entry at: http://blog.magnetsusa.com/2014/11/faces-behind-magnets-part-19/
Laura’s job with Magnets USA includes photography, videography, design, writing and using social media to build connections.
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- Professors can create study tours with ieiMedia Global Connections
- Avanti Cagli, ieiMedia’s summer initiative in Italy, will offer study and program options in 2018
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by Laura Weeks, James Madison University, Urbino Project 2012