Tuesday, December 30, 2008

UPDATE: Summer Field Study 2011

This summer's field study will take place in 3 eco-zones of Tanzania. This peaceful and progressive country has much to offer students from all disciplines and we are looking forward to exploring and studying these amazing regions of East Africa with you. Spaces are limited and the trip is filling up fast.

NEW 2014 PROGRAM. Don't miss out....register as soon as you can to study PHOTOGRAPHY, DESIGN and DIGITAL STORYTELLING in Africa or the Caribbean.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

About the American University in Cairo Summer Field Study in Tanzania.

Purpose of the Course:

This summer field study program explores new roles convergent media can play in the attainment of African goals for good governance, distance learning, balanced news reporting, business development, science, public health and tourism.

Students will engage international NGOs, university students, journalism professionals, media organizations, government offices, African business leaders, local villagers and urban residents to produce multimodal on-line publications in response to specific development media needs.

Participants will receive instruction and practical experience in public affairs reporting, writing, photography, streaming audiovisuals, publication design, graphics and video.

Two Key Focus Areas:

1) Feature Writing

For students who will focus more on the writing component of their field study experience, they will be able to:

Write feature articles utilizing research skills to formulate a story idea;

Contrast characteristics of print and online news production;

Recognize the importance of careful observation in gathering information for and writing a feature article;

Recognize the importance of balance in feature writing between “the individual’s right to privacy” and “the public’s need to know”;

Recognize ethical issues that emerge in feature writing;

Demonstrate effective interviewing skills;

Recognize effective leads, transitions, and endings of feature articles;

Write model effective leads, transitions, and endings in their own feature articles;

Identify an “angle” and a “justifier” for a feature article;

Demonstrate various ways to organize a feature article;

Demonstrate proficiency at writing various types of feature articles;

Discuss feature article ideas with peers and field study leaders.

2) Advanced Visual Communication

For students who will focus more on the visual components of their field study experience (photography, video, graphics), they will be able to:

Carry out photographic assignments to illustrate feature articles utilizing collaborative research skills to produce unique stories;

Recognize and demonstrate the importance of careful observation in constructing visual information for printed and on-line media;

Recognize the importance of preserving the subject’s “right to privacy” without compromising “the public’s need to know”;

Recognize ethical issues that emerge in visual communication;

Recognize, produce and layout effective visuals for a number of purposes;

Create effective picture stories, feature photographs and artistic photography;

Demonstrate proficiency at illustrating various types of feature articles;

Recognize and discuss the impact/importance of visual social semiotics on/to photographic media (still and motion) and graphic communication (print, on-line, broadcast) between cultures.


Goals and Objectives:

To provide photography, online writing, graphics and visual communication students with the skills and opportunities to produce high quality feature stories, images and layout designs that will focus on articles and stories about their experiences and encounters in Tanzania.

Among the skills and techniques students will gain include how to:

· Work in teams (writers-researchers-reporters-photographers) to produce professional quality feature and informational stories;

· Provide effective journalistic coverage of each assignment using a variety of production media (writing, still camera, moving images, audio);

· Use effective techniques for lighting and photographically exposing the subject to extract its “visual essence”;

· Manage the logistics of a multimedia production including equipment setup and subject placement;

· Capture effective, compelling and engaging images of landscapes, people and wildlife;

Our pedagogy will allow students and instructors to:

· Engage students to study the discipline of Journalism from both photo-journalism and online perspectives which can enhance their position as educated citizens in a global village.

· Study advancements in convergent media

· Attain a greater understanding of multiculturalism by using varied communication mediums to explore many facets of human behavior, and provide a grasp of written and visual communication theory through photography, writing, graphics, streaming audio and video.

· Debate continuing concerns about the intrusion of messages from other cultures is negatively valued.

Multicultural and Intercultural Competence Outcomes will also be realized:

While students will have ample opportunities to engage in substantive writing and photography assignments during this field study, they will also become immersed in a learning space that will afford them engagements in multicultural competence. Multicultural competence allows students to effectively engage and work with people who are different from them. Such interactions are equally as enriching as the writing and photographic experiences.

Expected cultural learning outcomes include:

Students will become more aware of their own culture as they discover the cultural practices found in Tanzania. This outcome is crucial, as students will be responsible for not only formulating story ideas, they will also be engaged in the visual culture component in photographing the traditional practices of Tanzania as they encounter them. Such encounters catalyzes an awareness of ones own culture which may serve to explain cultural differences and tolerance.

Students will understand visual social semiotics and become sensitized to other world views which will involve their learning about how other cultures may have ways of seeing an interpreting the world they share very differently than they do.

Students will also develop culturally appropriate interpersonal skills which will also teach them how to apply their knowledge about someone else’s worldview to behaviors that appropriately take into account that knowledge, which in turn, effects positive change.

In our increasingly diverse and global society, this course will therefore help students to understand the complexities of cultures; their differences and similarities and how multi-platform communication can provide comprehensive learning opportunities for students that will promote new paradigms for social change and development.

Assessment will be based on the quality of the written, visual content produced by students. The work will be evaluated in three areas: technical proficiency, aesthetics and communicative value. The ultimate assessment will be made according to how well the written, spoken and visual product achieves its intended goals and objectives. As news writing and reporting is a deadline focused environment, student assessment will also be based upon their ability to generate a timely product or performance that will provide clear and convincing evidence that the student has mastered the knowledge and skills associated with convergent media.

More specifically, students will be assessed on their ability to:

· Critically analyze story ideas and audience awareness of the story type

· Identify and describe the ethical framework for the practice of journalism and mass communication with a number of news assignments

· Demonstrate an understanding and appreciation of the free flow of news and information and its role in society

· Demonstrate a command of the basic electronic production and presentation skills necessary for entry into media careers, and an awareness of emerging technologies which may impact the future of media acquisition and dissemination

· Research, design and execute professional quality feature news stories

· Demonstrate ability to write, collect data, edit and design computer-generated designs of professional-quality projects for news media

· Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of research for adding new knowledge, and an ability to employ a variety of research techniques for analysis and interpretation in the development to of their news stories.

· Gather, write, and edit images and sound for online news and current affairs of professional quality

· Incorporate multimedia technology to develop professional quality persuasive presentations and add depth to documentary media


Tanzania is the largest of the East African countries (i.e. Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania). The country has a spectacular landscape of mainly three physiographic regions namely the Islands and the coastal plains to the east; the inland saucer-shaped plateau; and the highlands. The Great Rift Valley that runs from north east of Africa through central Tanzania is another landmark that adds to the scenic beauty of the country. The Rift Valley continues south of Tanzania and includes conversation sites for the country’s mountain gorilla population. The valley is dotted with unique lakes which include Lakes Rukwa, Tanganyika, Nyasa, Kitangiri, Eyasi and Manyara. The highlands include Mount Meru, Mount Kilimanjaro, the Ngorongoro Crater and the Olduvai Gorge (The Cradle of Mankind) where important excavations have yielded human fossil remains that are among the oldest ever found. The Tanzanian coast has an extensive Islamic and Christian heritage that goes back thousands of years. As a result, there are many cultures and archaeological ruins to explore.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Photo-Video Exhibition at American University in Cairo

On March 26, I opened a Cairo exhibition of photographs and video segments I shot during my recent trips to Tanzania to scout facilities and subject matter for a 2010 Summer Field Study Program, "CONVERGING MEDIA: COMMUNICATING ACROSS BORDERS WITH WORDS, PICTURES AND SOUND".

Please return to this blog often for continually updated information for students who want to make the journey this summer.


Mount Meru, Northern Tanzania

January 2008

(c) Robert L. Jones, II

(c) 2008

All photos by Robert Jones
PROPOSED AGENDA: June 9-29, 2011

June 9 & 10 .....CAIRO:
Basic Training Skills Refresher
Practice Hands-on Skills
Design & Build Templates for web
Prepare for departure

Tours of Dar es Salaam and Indian Ocean Coast

Collaboration with Open University of Tanzania; University of Dar es Salaam Institute for Journalism and Mass Communication; Bagamoyo College of Art

Produce (tentative titles):
Web Publication #1: Tanzanian Rural Village Life
Web Publication #2: Tanzanian City Life
Web Publication #3: Historic Bagamoyo or Kilwa
Web Publication #4: Tanzanian Education
On-Line Photo Galleries

June 15-20..... ZANZIBAR:
Explore the historic Islamic architecture of the Swahili Coast and enjoy a beach vacation. Collaborate with Nungwi Muslim High School to develop interactive programs to connect it to Nepad e-School Network.

June 21, 22, 23 ..... ARUSHA/KARATU:
Fly from Dar to Arusha where we plan to report on the Rwanda genocide tribunal. Overland to Karatu.

June 24..... WILDLIFE SAFARI in Ngorongoro Crater the "Cradle of Mankind"


June 26-29
Upload remaining images and stories to web publication.

F..A..Q ............F..A..Q............. F..A..Q

Q: What is the cost of this study experience?
A: Program + Travel Fees= US $3,900 + Tuition (see AUC website)

Q: What does this $3,900 include?
A: This includes: hotels, breakfast, roundtrip airfare from Cairo, ground transport, domestic air travel, site entry fees, safari trucks, interpreters, guides, tourist visa. The $3900 cost also includes Full Board accommodations for the 3 nights we will be on the wildlife safari.

Q: What is not included in the $3,900 cost?
A: This cost includes everything (Bed & Breakfast accommodations, Round Trip air fare from Cairo, Local ground transport, insurance, visas, site entry fees) EXCEPT tuition and pocket money (approx. $750-$800 pocket money needed for lunch, dinner, phone calls, souvenirs, etc.). Depending on your spending habits, the pocket money expense estimate can be reduced since it has been calculated at approx. $30 per day. Tuition costs (3 credit hours) can be found at the AUC web site. Foreign students must add the cost of roundtrip transport to Cairo and accommodations in Cairo.

Q: How do I register and make my payment?
A: Use the current AUC process to register for either 3 credit hour course JRMC 299 or RHET 299. Once registered, you be required to further qualify for this program by submitting samples of your written and/or visual communication skills. A letter of recommendation is also required.Once you have been accepted into the program, you will be required to pay all tuition (see Registrar) and program fees ($3,900 per student) when due.

Please visit the AUC website for specific instructions that must be followed. Begin by going to the AUC homepage, then click CURRENT STUDENTS, then click ACADEMICS/SUMMER SESSION, then click FIELD STUDY COURSES, then click choice #5 (JRMC 299 and RHET 299) to complete the process.

NOTE: You have been invited to view this announcement in advance of other students because you have previously expressed interest in the Summer Field Study Program in Tanzania. Please let us know ASAP if you still intend to join us. This will enable us to locate suitable replacements if you have changed your mind. We need to be informed of your intention by returned e-mail, not later than 15 APRIL, 2010 so we can make this opportunity available to others who are currently on our waiting list.

Q: Who is responsible for emergencies, including unplanned early returns to Cairo for whatever reason?
A: Students and their guardians are responsible for all such extraordinary costs related to behavior,health and similar issues. Provision must be made by the guardian to pre pay (credit card or cash) all such extraordinary expenses should the need arise. AUC cannot cover these extraordinary costs pending later reimbursement by the student. Please make sure you have made workable arrangments to cover such expenses in the unlikely event they would occur.

Q: What clothing should I bring along?
A: Clothing that you would wear during both spring and summer in Cairo. East Africa has a variety of climatic zones ranging from the warm, breezy and humid coastal region to the mountainous areas where the air can be quite cool early in the morning and in late evening. Our wildlife safaris begin early in the morning and continue until after sundown, so bring sweaters that can be removed as the day heats up.
Bring clothes that can be washed in cold water. Comfortable walking shoes, sandals or sneakers are recommended. A hat for protection from the tropical sun is advised. If you want to take advantage of numerous opportunities to swim or snorkel, you should bring your own gear although masks, snorkels and fins can be rented everywhere on Zanzibar.

Q: What health concerns are there?
A: Tanzania is largely tropical and that brings a risk of malaria though most travelers who take normal precautions do not encounter problems. Be sure to take and bring anti-malaria pills which you can get from the AUC Clinic. You will also need to have innoculations that are required by the World Health Organization before an entry visa will be granted. Consult your physician, AUC Clinic and the Embassy of Tanzania if you have specific questions.

For more detailed information about visiting Tanzania, please explore the link list below.