Journalism Exchange Program at U of I

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

In the liberal arts college setting, a shift has been made to allow for students to get a more hands on education in the field(s) of their choice. Whether it be in a student teaching or mentoring program, or applied practicums in students medias, different majors stress the importance of getting 'real world' experience to help better prepare them for a professional career.


One state school has developed a program that focuses on giving its journalism students every possible opportunity to excel in a hands on field-experience program.

The University of Iowa's School of Journalism and Mass Communication has implemented a program called North American Environmental Journalism Project (VITAL), which is funded by the US Department of Education, to help give their journalism students a 'leg-up' on other student journalists.

This program is a negotiated exchange consortium with seven different schools from the United States, Canada and Mexico. The program allows for students to study, report on, and develop an awareness for environmental journalism, with special emphasis on water resource and water sustainability issues. The program also hopes to allow for students to gain a sense of cultural awareness and still enhancing their journalistic skills.

Members of the student exchange program focus on projects in specific areas of concern in their given geographical region. The students research these issues and then post forums in a website to share information and publish their work. Some may also work with broadcast news/production and shoot, edit, and stream video on news and campus TV stations.

With exchanges between schools on the North American continent, the goal is to promote awareness for issues going on close to home and to form a sense of community among the students involved.

The University of Iowa has chosen this program to focus on environmental journalism, but students do not have to a background in biology or environmental issues in order to participate.

This program, however, is not unique to its kind. Other small liberal arts institutions also encourage study abroad courses during the semester, or for partial semesters. But this program in particular focuses on cultivating students' abilities in a specific area to give them hands on experience for their intended profession. Getting real, hands on training makes students applying for their first jobs in a given field more attractive candidates to employers...which is the goal of any school wishing to educate students eager to enter the workforce.

Check out the YouTube clip below for more commentary about this program:

1 comments:

Kati Herr November 16, 2010 at 9:30 PM  

This all sounds like a great opportunity for young journalists, but I wonder how many students will actually take the opportunity to do this with all of the scare about journalists being taken and killed. This is happening all over the world, but we've been hearing about a lot of cases in Mexico...I hope the young journalists that take this opportunity stay safe in their endeavors! You never know what kind of story you will be covering...or what kind of trouble it could get you in.

Post a Comment

  © Blogger template On The Road by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP