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Student reporting abroad: An international programme called Journalism Reporting Field Trips

Duffield, Lee R. (2008) Student reporting abroad: An international programme called Journalism Reporting Field Trips. Pacific Journalism Review, 14(2), pp. 102-122.

Abstract

Journalism Reporting Field Trips: Practical work overseas brings home to students "real world" implications of their professional preparation. A program organised by the writer for journalism students to do practical work overseas has seen small groups engaged in inter-cultural learning and working as foreign correspondents for campus-based media outlets. Since 2000, 60 students have joined nine tours of 10 – 20 days, in nine countries of Europe and the Asia Pacific. They obtain credit for a full elective subject, e.g. an individual study unit, and may negotiate additional credit in other subjects. The project's rationale was that while practice focuses the mind on essential communication tasks, practice in distant and unfamiliar settings intensifies the experience – hence the learning. It replicates journalistic practice of overseas correspondents encountering "high risk and high returns": more difficulty, more headlines and colour. This practice dovetails with increasing internationalisation of the curriculum. A literature has been consulted identifying main pedagogical arguments for study abroad, and present-day demands on the academy, e.g. preparation of professionals needing to work in their profession anywhere in a "world community". Leading researchers in this field, viz Jane Knight propose "non-ideological" definitions of internationalised education as a process responding to "real world" demands. The paper assesses documentation kept on field trips' itineraries; observations made by staff when the students were accompanied; students' notes and reports on inter-cultural experiences; costs, overwhelmingly met by the students themselves; and the output of news, features or special programs. Outcomes list students' products and feed-back, academic performance and later achievements. Most participants are motivated to strive in all fields and later have a strong record obtaining employment. Special features are considered, e.g. language learning in contemporary journalism; the program's popularity among postgraduate students. The investigation concludes that such programs can occupy a valuable place in core curricula; relate to increasing demand for "real world" learning and internationalisation, and can be integrated into degree structures without undue stain on resources.

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ID Code: 15350
Item Type: Journal Article
Additional URLs:
Keywords: field trips, foreign correspondents, intercultural learning, international curricula, student reporting
ISSN: 1023-9499
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > JOURNALISM AND PROFESSIONAL WRITING (190300) > Journalism Studies (190301)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2008 Lee Duffield, AUT and ACIJ
Copyright Statement: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Deposited On: 27 Oct 2008
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 23:52

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