The article focuses on the power of experiential learning for teaching the craft of journalism.
“Certain aspects of writing and reporting can be taught in a classroom,” the article begins. “But any seasoned journalist can attest that some skills are gained only through on-the-ground experience — especially in a place that inspires as much media controversy as Israel.
“A new program from the Institute for Education in International Media (ieiMedia) aims to give college journalists exactly that.”
The Jerusalem program has already attracted attention from students around the world. Applications have come from the U.S., Canada and Australia and we’ve had inquiries from students in Brazil and Pakistan.
Scholarships for the program are still available. American students and international students at American universities can apply for scholarships of up to $1,000 from the Rothberg International School at The Hebrew University of Journalism. Canadian Friends of Hebrew University has agreed to make scholarships available for Canadian students.
Feb. 15 is the application deadline for program. Don’t have time to apply this week? Late applications will be accepted through March if slots are available.
Apply now to secure your spot!
For more information about scholarships for Canadian students go to CFHU’s scholarships web page or contact:
National Director, Student & Academic Affairs
Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Applications for the Jerusalem program are due March 30, 2013.
The Rothberg International School at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem has generously offered scholarships for students enrolled in ieiMedia’s international reporting program in Jerusalem.
Scholarships will be for $750. Students who have already filled out a FAFSA form are eligible to receive an additional $250, for a total scholarship of $1,000 toward the cost of the program. The scholarships are available to U.S. citizens and students of other nationalities who are enrolled in an American college or university.
To apply for one of the scholarships, send an email to Ilene Prusher at lprusher@ieiMedia.com with your name, email address and phone number and state whether you are applying for just the $750 scholarship or the additional $250 need-based scholarship as well. Students applying for a need-based scholarship will need to add the Hebrew University code of G04012 to their FAFSA application.
The application deadline for the Jerusalem program is Feb. 15. The online application for all ieiMedia programs is available on the ieiMedia website. Scholarships will be given to the first 15 students who apply for the program AND the scholarship so don’t delay!
For more information, contact Ilene Prusher at lprusher@ieiMedia.com or 415 338-3134.
Students seeking financial support for ieiMedia summer study-abroad programs may want to check out their local press club scholarship programs. Many press clubs offer scholarships for journalism and communication students and those preparing for a career in journalism. Here’s a list of some of the many opportunities available:
The National Press Club offers several scholarships, including the Scholarship for Journalism Diversity, the Feldman Fellowship for Graduate Studies in Journalism, and the Richard G. Zimmerman Journalism Scholarship, for high school seniors who wish to pursue a career in journalism.
Deadline: March 1
The Sacramento Press Club offers a total of $34,000 in assistance to students who are preparing for a career in journalism or a closely related field. The seven scholarships range in value from $4,000 to $8,000.
Deadline: April 5
Deadline: Contact the sponsoring organization
The Big Island Press Club annually offers the $500 Jack Markey Memorial Scholarship and the $1,500 Robert C. Miller Memorial Scholarship and administers the $500 Yukino Fukubori Memorial Scholarship, the $1,000 Bill Arballo Scholarship and the Marcia Reynolds Memorial Scholarship. All are awarded to qualified students working toward a career in journalism or a related field.
Deadline: June 9
The Idaho Press Club awards the $1,500 Don Watkins Scholarship each year to graduates of Idaho high schools who have completed one year of college and wish to pursue a career in journalism or communications. Full-time students majoring in journalism or working for a college or professional media outlet are eligible.
The Valley Press Club in Springfield, Massachusetts offers five $1,000 scholarships to students planning to study journalism in college.
The Press Club of Metropolitan St. Louis and the Journalism Foundation award a variety of scholarships for communication students. These scholarships include the Press Club’s $5,000 media scholarship for students pursuing careers in print, broadcast or digital journalism careers; many summer internship $1,000 scholarships for communication students; a Press Club internship $1,000 scholarship each semester; the Press Club and St. Louis Post-Dispatch David Lipman scholarship for $5,000 awarded through the Missouri School of Journalism to a journalism student at the University of Missouri-Columbia; a $1,000 Sky’s the Limit scholarship awarded through Mathew-Dickey Boys’ and Girls’ Club; and up to 13 different Journalism Foundation scholarships ranging in amounts from $500 to $1500 provided by other professional communication organizations through the Press Club.
Deadline: May 3
The New York Press Club Foundation began offering journalism scholarships in 2012. Details for 2013 were not available.
The Press Club of Western Pennsylvania offers a $5,000 Bob Fryer Memorial Scholarship to aspiring journalists.
Deadline: Extended to Feb. 1
The Press Club serving the Philadelphia suburbs offers four scholarships to students pursuing fields in writing and communications.
Deadline: Contact the sponsoring organization
Women’s Press Club of Pittsburgh offers scholarships to students who are interns or occasional stringers to professional media organizations or student media staff members.
Deadline: Contact the sponsoring organization
The Press Club Of Dallas Foundation Scholarship Fund awards one or more one-year scholarships up to a total of $15,000 to current college students who have graduated from a high school in the DFW Metroplex, completed at least 45 hours of collegiate coursework, and are currently pursuing a college degree in the communications field, to include print and broadcast journalism, public relations and advertising.
Deadline: Contact the sponsoring organization
The Milwaukee Press Club each year provides scholarship money to Marquette University, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. At each of those schools, representatives select a student to receive the scholarship.
Deadline: Contact the schools listed above.
Don’t see your region or state listed here? Many other press clubs offer scholarships to students interested in pursuing a degree or a career in journalism. Search for your city or state and “press club” to get contact for your local, regional or statewide press club.
We will continue to update this list as we learn about more press club scholarships. If you know about others that should be listed here please write to rkanigel (at) ieimedia (dot) com.
OTHER JOURNALISM SCHOLARSHIPS
National Association of Black Journalists awards scholarships annually to deserving students interested in pursuing careers in journalism. Scholarships are worth up to $2,500.
Deadline: Feb. 28
In the Summer of 2009, Jaena Rae Cabrera, then a student at San Francisco State University, got a chance to explore her major, journalism, and her two minors, religion and philosophy, all in one place – Armagh, Northern Ireland.
In ieiMedia’s Armagh program, Jaena delved into Irish ritual, faith and myth. She wrote a story about the Irish tradition of wakes, in which loved ones celebrate the life, rather than mourning the death, of the deceased. She shot video of the “bleeding tree” a tree near St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Cathedral and the burial place of Cardinal Tomas O’Fiaich. Soon after the cardinal died in 1990, the tree began to leak a mysterious substance. Some saw it as a sign from the cardinal, a kind of stigmata, and people began coming to the tree to pray and seek healing.
Jaena is now a web producer at the Center for Investigative Reporting in Berkeley, CA, and managing editor for Geek Peeks, a scifi-technie news blog. She is currently earning a master’s degree in library and information science and a certificate of advanced study in digital libraries from Syracuse University‘s School of Information Studies in Syracuse, NY.
We tracked her down to learn more about what she’s up to now and what she remembers most about her summer in Armagh.
What is the Center for Investigative Reporting. What do you do there?
The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) is a nonprofit investigative news organization that investigates complex issues such as the environment, immigration, government accountability, education and health. As a part-time web producer there, I assist with web production for story packages published across its three brands: Center for Investigative Reporting, California Watch and The Bay Citizen.
What advice do you have for students and recent graduates who want to work in multimedia journalism?
Keep an open mind and experiment with new tools. Much of how I learned and continue to learn new skills is by tinkering and practicing with anything I can get my hands on, whether hardware or software. Nonprofit organizations also love people with multimedia skills. I still consider myself a journalist, even though the majority of my work is done in the background, on the production end.
What skills do you think are most important for people working in journalism today?
It is important to have an understanding of the many elements of multimedia journalism: video, audio, photos and words. Being an absolute expert in all of these things is unrealistic, but being able to understand how to best tell a story is a valuable distinction. Social media and networking skills are also very beneficial.
What did you learn in your month in Armagh with ieiMedia in 2007? Did you develop any skills there that you use in your career?
My month in Armagh gave me a great overview of basic multimedia skills: still photography, audio, video, reporting and writing for the web. While I had already developed some of these skills, ieiMedia gave me the experience of working on a team in a variety of roles that I had never tried before. Before then, I was content with just being the writer, but in Armagh I had the chance to act as videographer, photographer, and web producer.
What’s your fondest memory of Armagh?
Definitely the people. Everyone I met was very warm and exceptionally willing to invite me into their worlds. Many of our evenings were spent chatting with locals and listening to live music in the pubs. Life in Armagh was extremely different from what I am used to in San Francisco, and it reminded me that the simple joys we overlook are often the most satisfying. If I have to be more specific, one night my friend and colleague Megan invited the Armagh Rhymers to have dinner with us at the hostel. Afterward, they performed a few folk stories just for us. Someone recorded it as part of their project: http://youtu.be/-w1Xmkp13WU.
As you may remember from a previous post, Brandon Desiderio, a junior communication major, set up a crowdfunding campaign on Fund My Travel in early December, shortly after the crowd-financing site launched. He only collected $160 in the first six weeks it was up, but he’s hoping the mention on USA Today College will help with donations.
Within hours of the article’s posting, his fund was up to $296.
“Donations are starting to pour in from strangers,” he wrote in an email to ieiMedia.
Still, Desiderio knows it’s going to be tough to raise the money he needs. He plans to pump up his social media/PR campaign.
“Crowdfunding is practically built for our broke age group,” he told USA Today College, “but that doesn’t make it effortless or foolproof.”
Every riveting magazine piece, every compelling photo essay, and every powerful video report that ever grabbed readers and viewers by the throat and left them surprised, moved, newly informed, curious, prodded into action, or pissed off—they all have one thing in common. They all began with an idea—a strong, clear, focused idea.
And every pointless, puzzling, ho-hum piece of journalism that ever lost its audience within a few seconds? Each began—and was immediately doomed—when the reporter/writer, photographer, videographer, or producer proposing the piece spoke these words to his or her editor, “Why don’t we do something on…?”
“Something on modern art in Urbino,” “something on the Saturday market,” “something on farms that cater to tourists….” Were any more sleep-inducing words ever spoken?
Here, then, comes the mother of all tips for creating a strong story idea:
Never think and never say, “Let’s do something on…”
Saying that you want to “do something on” is nothing more than waving your hands in a vague general direction. A responsible editor should not let you go off that way, but if you do you’ll stumble around haphazardly collecting information and people and images that you’ll have no chance of assembling into a coherent, interesting piece. You won’t end up with a story, just “something on….”
So what’s the difference between a genuine story idea and a “something on?” Below are a few examples from last summer’s courses in Urbino on international reporting for magazines and multimedia. These are initial story ideas that three students pitched to us. As you’ll see, each story idea consists of no more than a few phrases or sentences; they were delivered like “elevator pitches,” during quick check-ins between student reporters and faculty editors. But these brief descriptions contained the ingredients needed to convince the editors that the students had identified promising seeds for their stories and should move ahead with reporting.
- Rather than “something on farms that cater to tourists,” here’s how the first student described her story idea: “A profile of ‘The Farm of the Singers,’ a family-owned organic farm, just outside of Urbino, that is not only a producer of quality food and art, but also a center of learning.”
- Rather than “something on modern art in Urbino,” this student described her idea as: “A visit with Vitaliano Angelini, a renowned artist who has just returned home to Urbino. I would interview him about how Renaissance art and philosophy shape his colorful abstract paintings.”
- Rather than “something on the Saturday market,” this student described her idea as: “How to put together a great look from the low-cost clothes vendors at Urbino’s Saturday summer market: consumer advice meets fashion makeover.”
As these samples show, a genuine “story idea,” as opposed to a vague reference to “something on,” points the way to a solid story in the following ways:
- It suggests or summarizes the likely characters and content of the piece. (It doesn’t simply identify the general topic area the way a “something on…” statement does.)
- It begins to solve the “problem” of how to tell the story, also known as the vehicle or approach. (An interview with an artist, for example, or a visually driven how-to shopping guide.)
- It implies the structure of the story.
- It signals the rationale. Why does the story belong on this website, on this broadcast, or in this publication (and, maybe, why now)? How does the idea connect with the target audience’s needs and interests?
- It gives focus and direction to your reporting and your plans for the writing/photographing/video shooting phase. It makes the work ahead do-able.
- It’s a tool for the team. It defines the story for everyone who’s working on it, providing a common vision and a common language.
Of course, these six touchstones are barely discussed in a two-sentence story idea. That’s why we always push students to flesh them out, either in follow-up meetings or in full, written pitch memos.
And you’ve also got to nail the execution: the research, interviews, writing, shooting, and so on. But if you formulate your initial idea in a way that is specific, focused, and clearly relevant to your audience, you’ll avoid the trap of doing just “something on.”
And you’ll give yourself a great shot at creating a piece of journalism that is, well, really something.
IeiMedia programs are taught by veteran journalism educators and top media professionals. During the summer they offer daily lessons–in the classroom and one-on-one–on what it means to be a professional journalist. But why should we limit their advice to our summer programs?
For the third installment of our series, “From the Pros,” we posed this question: What advice do you have for students who want to become international journalists?
Here’s what our pros had to say:
“Take chances. Put yourself in situations where you are the outsider. You don’t have to go abroad to do this. You can start now and develop some of the skills that you will need to work in foreign cultures. It is important to be able to enter new environments, talk to people different from yourself and understand their perspective.
“Seek out immigrant communities and report on stories that matter to them. You might be surprised how much you don’t know about your neighbors. Look for stories in places where you might feel uncomfortable and listen to your subjects so that you can tell their story without filtering it through your own preconceptions.
“Last but not least, study a foreign language. It will open doors that would otherwise remain closed if you have to rely on a translator for all situations. Early in my career I traveled the back roads of Poland and often found myself invited into wonderful situations simply because I was able to carry on a conversation in Polish.”
Dennis Chamberlin, Urbino Project Director
Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Education,
Greenlee School of Journalism & Communication, Iowa State University
“There is no doubt that courses in international media, intercultural communication, advanced languages, history, etc. set the table. But students will not know if they can be happy with this choice without immersing themselves in a foreign culture and practicing their skills in that environment, either in a program or independently. Once they determine that dealing with the hardships of international reporting is a challenge that is deeply satisfying, they then can gravitate toward an area that is significant to them, whether it is geographic or issue-related.
“There are many opportunities working for English-language foreign media abroad or feeding the voracious appetite for information that can be found on web sites with an international focus or aspect. Starting with travel is one way of easing in. Of course, luck has a lot to do with it, such as being in the right place at the right time when one is the only American reporter to witness a crisis unfolding. The more experience abroad one has, instinct soon supersedes luck.
“There has never been a better time to try international journalism because there are no longer just a few job slots controlled by big media. The internet provides almost limitless gateways.”
Andrew Ciofalo, ieiMedia Founder and President
Professor Emeritus, Loyola University Maryland
Venise Wagner, Istanbul Project Faculty
Associate Professor and Chair, Journalism Department
San Francisco State University
“Recently, three international journalists have visited Washington & Lee: adventure photographer Michael Hanson (W&L class of ’02); Reuters Moscow reporter Tom Grove (W&L class of ’03), and GlobalPost photographer Ben Brody, who spoke at the opening of a traveling exhibit of photojournalists’ work from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan called ‘The Conflict Zone.’ All in their early 30s, they became amazingly successful international journalists by jumping into it, with courage and determination.
“Hanson tried baseball in the minor leagues, then began taking photographs in Latin America, following his interest in indigenous cultures and their exploitation. He is now sent around the world by top-tier publications (and ad agencies too). Grove began freelancing overseas, filling the gaps left when networks and newspapers retrenched. He got a job with Reuters in Istanbul, and then moved on to its Moscow bureau. Brody, the war photographer, freelances for GlobalPost, an online news outlet started by a former Boston Globe foreign editor. Ben is working with better assignments and more danger than most journalists get in a lifetime.
“For an elite number of international journalists, the three promised, the best jobs in the world are waiting to be filled.”
Doug Cumming, Armagh Project Faculty
Associate Professor, Department of Journalism & Mass Communications
Washington & Lee University
“An international journalist, travel writer, or international cultural critic, analyst or writer, editor or producer has to travel internationally first in order to know what he or she is talking about. Travel and then write about it. Or blog about it. Or make a video or photo diary. Period.
“You need to understand what it takes to travel. You need to understand the stresses and the issues. And also the joys of discovery, and, mostly, the unexpected friendships and relationships you will make across miles and cultures. There is no ‘virtual’ international experience. Only the real one, like the one offered by ieiMedia.”
Jack Zibluk, Armagh Project Director
Professor and Chair, Department of Mass Media
Southeast Missouri State University
We have created a video that shows some of the sights and sounds of Urbino from arrival to departure. Enjoy!
In 2009, Leah Bigelow, who had graduated the year before from San Jose State University, served as the student editor for the first issue of Urbino View (now called Urbino Now), the annual travel magazine put out by ieiMedia about Urbino and the Marche region of Central Italy. It was a tough job, wrangling 24 other student journalists, editing their copy, checking Italian phrases with interpreters, working with InDesign, and putting out a professional-quality magazine — all in one month — but Leah thrived under pressure. (An occasional glass of vino rosso frizzante, a 24-hour getaway to Venice and a day at the beach helped.)
And the work prepared her well for her new job as managing editor of Jetset Extra, an online travel resource.
What is Jetset Extra?
Jetset Extra is an online travel resource for anyone who is interested in exploring the world. We have writers worldwide who submit articles about the cities they live in and the trips they’ve taken. We also create and post videos, hold a weekly Twitter chat about all things travel, and host an annual event called the Jetset Social to discuss the latest trends in the travel industry.
What do you do in your new job?
As managing editor, I oversee the production schedule and determine what articles will post and when. I also copyedit the articles, put together a weekly e-newsletter, and write my own pieces based on press releases or industry events that I attend.
Will you be working with freelancers? Any opportunities for ieiMedia alumni?
I hope so! Unfortunately, we cannot pay our writers at this time, but we do offer a great outlet for journalists who love to travel and want to build a portfolio. If any ieiMedia alumni would like to be featured writers for our site, they can send clips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What have you been doing since you left Urbino in 2009 and you graduated college?
I was lucky enough to have a job waiting for me when I came home from Urbino, as circulation and special events manager for Where Orange County magazine. I spent two and a half years with Where before taking a job as associate editor for a business-to-business magazine for physical therapists. While the year I spent there was a great learning experience, I am so happy to be back working with the travel industry.
How do you think your Urbino experience shaped your career path?
The time I spent in Urbino really solidified the fact that journalism was the right career choice for me. Putting together a magazine/visitor’s guide for the city in a short amount of time was crazy and stressful … and I loved every minute of it. I learned that this was the type of job I was truly passionate about and that I was ready and willing to work hard and put my all into more projects like this one. My experience in Urbino also gave me an introduction to travel writing and taught me how to see the unique and wonderful aspects of the places I visit and the place where I live.
Fondest memory of Urbino?
Dining al fresco in the Piazza della Repubblica, touring the ducal palace, seeing the rolling green hills outside my bedroom window every morning, wandering through the city’s cobblestone streets, using my own special form of English/Italian/sign language to meet and talk to the locals, having an amazing wine-tasting dinner hosted by a top sommelier (even though I had a horrible head cold and couldn’t actually taste anything), dancing to ’80s classic rock at the beer festival, drinking vino rosso frizzante, going to the Bosom Pub, eating gelato at least once a day (and telling myself it was OK because I walked to and from the gelateria), getting lost in Venice with Alyson and Alyssa, taking a quick trip to Lucca just to see James Morrison play live, researching the history of Urbino for my article, taking hundreds of photos….. Traveling to Urbino was the experience of a lifetime. I would go back in a heartbeat if I could and absolutely plan on returning to visit someday.
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- Meet with ieiMedia in Atlanta, Washington and California
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- Apply by Oct. 4 to be one of 2,800 winners of a Gilman scholarship for study abroad
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Our Students Get Great Gigs
- Urbino Project – 2016
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- Urbino Now Magazine – 2015
- Urbino Project – 2014
- Urbino Now Magazine – 2014
- Urbino Project – 2013
- Urbino Now iPad App – 2013
- Urbino Project – 2012
- Urbino Now Magazine – 2012
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- Urbino Project – 2009
- Urbino View Magazine – 2009
- Armagh Project – 2014
- Armagh Project – 2009
- Armagh Project – 2007
- Valencia Project – 2016
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- Croatia Project – 2016
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- Jerusalem Project – 2013
- Istanbul Project – 2015
- Istanbul Project – 2014
- Istanbul Project – 2013
- Istanbul Project – 2012
- Istanbul Stories – 2011
- Faces of Istanbul (Book) – 2011
- Nice Project – 2016
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- Cagli Project – 2007
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by Olivia Condon, Mount Royal University, Urbino Project 2014