By Stephanie Directo
The online realm is bringing journalists together across national borders.
In a graduate journalism class at the Konrad Adenauer Asian Centre for Journalism at Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines, the learning experience is shared online among students from the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Thailand.
Kim Kierans, a journalism professor at the University of King’s College, teaches the graduate course in the Philippines and has seen new media create a “real sense of togetherness” among
students from across Asia.
Kierans discussed the usefulness of new media in her journalism courses at “The Reporting Eye: Taking it Global”
presentation at Dalhousie University Monday evening.
Community members joined to listen to a lecture given by Kierans and two other local journalists about the importance of transcending physical borders through education and practice in journalism.
The lecture was one of the events taking place worldwide for the 11th annual International Education Week, a five-day worldwide event to promote awareness of a global culture to Canadians.
The theme of 2010 is International Education: Building a Society for the 21st Century, which explores the benefits and challenges of the digitalization of communication globally to education abroad.
“There’s something quite magical that happens online. Journalists from all across Asia discover that they have a lot in common. They face the same challenges. All of a sudden, the race, the gender, the religion, all of these sources of conflict at home in their countries is not an issue,” said Kierans.
Conrad Fox, a graduate student in international development studies at Dalhousie University and the producer of New Roots Radio, a weekly program on immigrant issues that airs on CKDU 88.1 FM, also spoke at the event.
“It’s like I think of the world one way and everyone else thinks of it another way and I have no way of explaining what the difference is to other people,” he says.
Before attending graduate school, Fox lived in Mexico for 12 years and reported on stories all over Latin America.
Upon returning to Canada he found the transition into Canadian culture difficult because he did not hear representations in the media of how he related to the world. He believes there is a necessity for communication between cultures in journalism and hopes that new media can turn journalism into a more public dialogue.
“What new media offers is a wealth of personal experiences, points of view, anecdotes, arguments, life stories that all fill in the lines between traditional hard news reporting.”