On Thursday morning twelve student journalists from the U.S greeted me with great enthusiasm — they had witnessed their first news story in Morocco. The night before, hundreds of young Moroccans, protesting the lack of jobs for university graduates here, surged along the grand avenue in front of the Moroccan Parliament, eventually chased away by police. (In Morocco, unemployment is 16 percent for university graduates, above the national average.)
These protests have escalated since what in Morocco is called the “February 20th Movement”
The newsroom we are creating for our students in the heart of Rabat ‘s medina is as close to a US news bureau as one can find in this country, a country rife with protest and surrounded by Arab Spring revolutions. The US students will be paired with Moroccan journalism students who speak English. Closely – and rigorously — mentored by me and Dr. Taieb Belghazi, a cultural studies professor at the University of Mohammad V in Rabat,
“I was born in a harem in 1940 in Fez, Morocco…” thus begins Fatma Mernissi’s stereotype-busting account of her remarkable childhood. Mernissi is a renowned Moroccan feminist and academic — her book has long been a favorite of mine. Now I am in Morocco, six days into what will be a four month stay, leading a journalism program which will pair American college students with Moroccan students at the University of Mohammad V to jointly report on a country where, just this week,
When I blog next it will be from the Center for Cross-Cultural Learning in the heart of the Medina in Rabat, Morocco. This famed center, founded and directed by influential Moroccan academics, is the base for our collaboration with SIT Study Abroad. CCCL is a center for cultural and educational activities on Moroccan society and Arab and Islamic cultures. This is a ground-breaking opportunity for students interested in global journalism, of course, but also a valuable resource for me and Round Earth Media,
In a world that is more interconnected than ever before, there is no substitute for original, informed, unbiased reporting. It’s hard work and requires smart, knowledgeable, courageous journalists immersed in the cultures where they are reporting. Their stories are important to all of us — not just in the “developed world,” but especially to an audience in the countries about which they are reporting.
A big reason for the excellence of our East African coverage is Sarah Ooko, 27, a freelance journalist based in Nairobi. As a frequent contributor to The EastAfrican, Ooko’s stories are read throughout the region. When not reporting, she works at the Kenyan Alliance of Health and Science Reporters under another of her mentors, the Knight Health Fellow Rachel Jones. The work Ooko produced for Round Earth Media in partnership with Mary Stucky will be broadcast on NPR and other media outlets in the weeks to come.
Starting in January 2012 we will be on the streets and in the classrooms of Rabat, Morocco, working one-on-one with U.S. college students who aspire to be the next generation of foreign correspondents. In this unique collaboration with SIT Study Abroad, we’ll effect the demands of an international news bureau while immersing students in one of the world’s most intriguing cultures. We’re looking forward to some excellent mentoring opportunities and some promising stories. An exciting twist: Because SIT Study Abroad’s longstanding Morocco programs involve intensive language study,
In India, aborting a fetus based on its sex is illegal, but the practice is common due to a societal preference for boys. Up to 12 million abortions have occurred as a result of sex selection. Reporter Hanna Ingber Win gains unusual insight into this quiet practice and its implication for one family near Mumbai.
In the Republic of Georgia in Eastern Europe for the first time ever (starting October 1, 2010), defendants have the option of being tried by a jury of their peers. This staple of the American court system was made part of the Georgia constitution six years ago. It’s only just now being offered on a limited basis. But as Mary Stucky reports, the United States has been part of a rather unconventional effort to get the country ready.
Culion is a beautiful and remote tropical island in the western Philippines — but it is an island with a dark history. It was once the world’s largest colony for people with leprosy. At its peak, Culion Island was home to 16,000 patients. But today, as Mary Stucky reports, this place that was once called the land of the living dead, has undergone a remarkable transformation.