School of Media and Communication
All departments of the School energetically foster engagement with their relevant professional communities with a view to enhancing the learning opportunities for their students, creation of internship opportunities, facilitating dialogue within the profession (e.g. Department of Telecommunication’s initiative in hosting of the first regional conference of the Ohio Association of Broadcasters in October, 2005, and the 2006 mid-winter conference of the Association of Education in Journalism and Mass Communication) and providing concrete support and assistance to the profession. The following examples come from Journalism.
Professional Development Activities, Department of Journalism (Dr. Terry Rentner, Chair)
This is a partial listing of recent development activities in the Department of Journalism since spring 2005:
• Three Pulitzer Prize winning reporters from The Toledo Blade were our fall Currier speakers. Over 400 students attended the Ault Speaker evening presentation. The reporters also spoke in five journalism classes.
• About 20 undergraduate and graduate students and faculty participated in the International Media Seminar this spring in Paris.
• Evan Wright, author and contributing editor for Rolling Stones Magazine was our Currier speaker on Oct. 5. About 275 students attended. Mr. Wright also spoke earlier in the day to high school students as part of GLIPA.
• Journalism faculty gave presentations to high school students as part of our annual GLIPA event on Oct. 5.
• Speakers and faculty from Tunisia came to BGSU as part of the USAID grant that focuses on building partnerships in the communication field with Arab countries. Several were featured speakers during our spring Communication Studies Week. Faculty members also traveled to Tunisia as part of this program.
• All first-year students, student athletes and members of Greek organizations have been asked to participate in AlcoholEdu, an online alcohol prevention and education course as part of a U.S. Department of Education grant. Data gathered from this project will be used alcohol prevention research and programming at BGSU and nationally.
• Department of Journalism and BG News have partnered to offer three five-week, one-credit hour course on specialized skills in journalism. These courses are taught by journalism professionals and will be offered beginning Jan. 06. The first three courses focus on investigative reporting, sports writing and covering multicultural communities. The BG News is funding this partnership and instructors include three Pulitzer Prize winning journalists.
• BGSU Department of Journalism and School of Communication Studies sponsored the Scholar-to-Scholar session at the Association for Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) national conference this August. The session featured the top graduate research papers. Over 100 people attended.
• Lillian Dunlap, Poynter Institute, presented a workshop to faculty on diversity issues in the classroom. She also was a featured speaker for Communication Studies Week attended by undergraduate and graduate students.
• Communications Studies Week featured many journalism alumni and other media professionals. The sessions were well-attended by students and faculty.
• Journalism faculty member traveled to Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan as part of a community outreach project.
• Journalism Alumni Board assessed senior capstone course projects this summer. Board members assessed projects in the print, broadcast and public relations sequences. Suggestions from their reports will be incorporated in future capstone courses.
• Numerous professionals speak in our journalism courses each semester. Case studies, exam questions and other activities are integrated with the presentations.
Other specific examples of engagement (Fall, 2005)
1. Engaging Community Internationally: Connecting Local (Rural) Ohio to Local (Rural) Andhra Pradesh (Dr. Radhika Gajjala, Department of Interpersonal Communication)
My work this semester (during my FIL period) has involved a continuation of my collaboration with members of a south Indian NGO called “Dastkar Andhra.” Dastkar Andhra is an NGO located in Hyderabad, India and works to promote livelihoods for handloom weavers in nearby rural communities through capacity building, design guidance/assistance and providing marketing services connecting the weaver to urban and potentially global markets in ways that center the weaver’s skill and self-respect. In a time where reaching the global market might potentially reduce the weaver to sweat shop labor, this group is firmly rooted in its accountability to the weaver in the way that they market the product. I spent part of my semester and my summer this year working with this NGO. In return for ethnographic access to the field, the NGO workers have asked me to work with them from Bowling Green Ohio in their attempts to connect the weaver to the global markets. I am doing this in a variety of ways – including working on a website for the weaver societies. Most importantly I am currently in the process of building connections through a local collaborator (Anita Serda) and trying to connect rural Andhra Pradesh to rural Ohio by linking livelihood promotion and capacity building for the weavers with capacity building for young adult (mostly young single mothers) seamstresses in the Perrysburg Heights Community. My collaborations with Anita here in Ohio and with the NGO workers there in Hyderabad India, allow me to examine the process of knowledge building in community contexts in addition to gaining insight into which technologies – old and new – are contextually relevant and empowering in specific instances.
Some history – Scholarship of Engagement
The collaboration with Dastkar Andhra began in 1998 when a member of the NGO and I co-authored an article for the Oxfam Journal “Gender and Development.” Subsequently this collaboration resulted in several conference presentations, two refereed book chapters and an online journal article (2000, 2001, 2002).
Our collaborations continue as we locate processes of knowledge production as situated within culture and community. This involves an examination of knowledge frameworks through praxis in order to unravel how theory building happens through praxis in contexts. For my collaborator as well this unraveling of the theory/practice connection is crucial as she continues her community-based work. At a seminar on Science and Technology for Society held in Hyderabad, India this summer (where once again we were co-presenting our work in a scholarly venue), she stated the following:
My dialogue with Radhika involves examining practice that leads to knowledge production for the community. In trying to locate knowledge in the praxis of practitioners of traditional technology, I worked in the area of reviving natural dyes which had been wiped out of practice, due to the invention of chemical dyes. At the time when these attempts at revival of this practice were started, all that had existed of this knowledge was in written texts, which coded the information out of reach of the practitioners. These written and museumized texts did not contextualise the technology in a way that could be put back into the practice from which it had been coded (translated) into text.
My writing with Radhika created an opportunity for me to question the way that knowledge about natural dyes, which ought to have been by right in the practice of traditional artisans, had been taken out of practice in a way that allowed the illusion of ownership of the technology to anyone who could merely read the text, but not to practitioners who could not. - Annapurna Mamidipudi, August 2005.
2. Middle East Partnership Initiative (Dr. Laura Lengel, Department of Interpersonal Communiction; Dr. Catherine Cassara, Department of Journalism)
Accomplishments to date include:
I.Workshop on Diversity Issues and Cultural Sensitivity for Teachers and Researchers Doing Work in the Middle East and North African Region, April 12, 2005
II. Cultural and Professional Exchange: Dr. Mohsen Hamli, Scholar-in- Residence at BGSU, April 9 – 16, 2005
III. Cultural and Community Outreach: Dr. Laura Lengel, U.S. Partnership Co-Director, gave a presentation to the Montessori School of Bowling Green (Bowling Green, Ohio) on “North Africa: kif kif wa mush kif kif” which emphasized cultural diversity and unity in North Africa and the U.S
IV.Program-related Research: Drs. Cassara and Lengel had their paper, “Have Nots in the Global Academy: The Information Society and the Digital Divide in the Academic Workplace” accepted for presentation at the IFRD World Forum.
V. July - August workshop on Women, Media and Democracy. This involved 10 students and 2 faculty members at IPSI (Tunisia) who participated in the summer workshop at BGSU.
VI. Year-long visit to Bowling Green of Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Fatma Azouz, from August 2005.
VII. Dr. Cassara and Bob Bortel invited by The American Embassy to Tunis in October for 2 weeks with Bob Bortel to help the Institute de Presse et des Sciences de l'Information set up a student newspaper. Trip would be funded by a grant from the U.S. Mideast Partnership Initiative MEPI.
VIII. Dr. Catherine Cassar and Dr. Laura Lengel visit to Tunisia in November to work with IPSI via on-going MEPI grant, to present a paper at the World Forum on Information Society sponsored by the International Research Foundation for Development, and to attend the UN World Summit on World Forum on Information Society sponsored by the International Research Foundation for Development, and to attend the UN World Summit on the Information Society