Student Journalist Emily Rizzo (right) with Ahmed Kathrada and Barbara Hogan
It’s been 5 years since SIT Study Abroad approached me with the idea of starting a journalism program in Morocco. I agreed — under two conditions. We use the Round Earth partnership model (an American journalism student partnered with a young journalist from the country). And, we publish the stories in top media outlets– if they’re good enough. To their eternal credit, SIT said “Why not?” But others weren’t so sure. Students? Published in top media outlets?
On that very first semester, we helped a student reporter and student photographer publish their story in The New York Times. Since then, our intrepid students have been responsible for some amazing reporting from Morocco — and now also from our journalism programs in South Africa and the Balkans. Just in the last week, students have published fascinating reporting from all three programs.
Click on the photo at the top for student Emily Rizzo’s reflection on meeting Ahmed Kathrada who died just two days before this article was published. Kathrada was known as Nelson Mandela’s “right hand man” in the anti-Apartheid movement. Barbara Hogan (pictured) was also a leader in that movement.
Here’s another story — just published — from Sealy Mcmurrey, also a student on our South Africa journalism program.
After weeks of traveling and classroom instruction, these students are now “embedded” at one of South Africa’s most acclaimed newspapers. With mentoring from Round Earth’s veteran editors in Cape Town, they are working with young South African journalist partners. We expect some incredible feature stories from them. Stay tuned!
From Morocco (photo of the surfers), a student journalist and student photographer teamed up for this story just published in Outside Magazine about female surfers in a major competition — for the first time. Click on the photo for the story.
And, from our program in the Balkans, just published in the Detroit News, a paper which covers one of the largest ethnic Albanian communities in the UnitedStates. This is a story of progress and hope — so needed in our world today. Click on the photo for the story.
There has never been a more important time to provide compelling learning opportunities that will cultivate the next generation of global journalists along with opportunities for them to report much-needed news and information for international audiences. Just as essential is to educate discerning and knowledgeable media consumers with increased communications skills, media literacy, and a deeper understanding of global issues that will be of value throughout their lives.