At a time when global reporting is in crisis and models of foreign correspondence are being called into question, the Emmy Award-winning Global Reporting Centre is revolutionizing the way in which global reporting is being taught and produced.
The new Global Reporting Program (GRP), the Centre’s educational branch, will bring together university-based journalism programs across the globe, allowing graduate students to investigate and report neglected global stories through true cross-border and cross-cultural collaborations.
Students from partner univesities will study global reporting techniques and experiment with innovations through a “teaching hospital” approach to journalism education. A key component of the course is collaborative fieldwork, as well as collaborative production of a major work of journalism on an under-covered global topic. Students will work closely with subject-area scholars, basing their reporting on scholarly research and in-depth reporting.
The GRP emerges from the highly successful International Reporting Program (IRP), at the University of British Columbia’s School of Journalism. Since its inception in 2008, the IRP afforded nearly 100 students the opportunity to report and produce high-quality works of global journalism. These projects appeared in The New York Times, CBS News, PBS FRONTLINE, CBC, VICE News, Al Jazeera, The Globe & Mail and Toronto Star among others, and won a long list of awards, including the Emmy for Best Investigative Magazine, several Sigma Delta Chi Awards, and multiple Edward Murrow Awards.
The course will pair graduate students from partner institutions who are interested in exploring the unique challenges of covering international news. The year-long course will examine the nature of international reporting, including a review of the issues and ethics of the genre across mediums. This model of collaborative learning and reporting across different universities and countries fosters cross-cultural approaches to global reporting, and provides students with real-world reporting experience.
The GRP will be structured around a two-term project, using information and material gathered during an international field trip. Students will produce a major work of journalism, with the goal of having it published, broadcast and/or launched by a major media outlet.
This course allows students from journalism programs across the globe to work together, and will be co-led by a leading global journalist and subject-area specialists. Lectures and class time will run for two hours each week, hosted at the UBC Graduate School of Journalism, with students from abroad participating via a video feed, with the ability to participate live or watch the lecture/discussion at a convenient time. Both cohorts will also have a one-hour lab each week, in which instructors at the respective institutions will workshop specific skills and techniques of global reporting. The students from across partner universities will be teamed up and will communicate regularly outside of class time. Students will report on their progress, participate in lectures and contribute to the development of the final project.
Each of the students will travel to one of the destinations of a partner university, reporting in partnership with local GRC students. There will be no use of “fixers” in the field – the students local to each region will serve as translators and cultural guides as necessary. Following the fieldwork, students will spend time together on UBC’s campus, working together to edit their pieces and pitch them to major media organizations.