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.
Two Key Focus Areas:
1) Feature Writing
Write feature articles utilizing research skills to formulate a story idea;
Contrast characteristics of print and online news production;
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;
REGISTER TODAY for JRMC 299 or RHET 299
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;
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
SITES TO BE EXPLORED:
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.