Wednesday, April 18, 2012

IIJ Promotes Indo-American Relationships in Journalism and Media

IIJ Promotes Indo-American Relationships in Journalism and Media

By Morgan Sigrist
IIJ Ambassador

In Spring 2012, two Ohio University professors traveled to India conduct workshops for professional journalists and to participate in several symposia organized by universities, journalism centers, and the U.S. Consulate-General in Hyderabad.  Professors Yusuf Kalyango and Aimee Edmondson spent 12 days travelling to Universities and journalism centers in the cities of Tirupati, Hyderabad, and Dehli. They held seminars for students, faculty and journalists. “We’ve made long-term relationships… we will continue these connections,” said Edmondson. 

The various visits brought together media academics and practitioners to learn and exchange ideas on how they can build academic programs and professional practice similar to that of the United States. In discussions pertaining to Indo-American perspectives on journalism education and practice, the two professors discussed the teaching practices in this changing electronic media landscape. Professor Edmondson trained journalists and students an investigative newsgathering technique called computer-assisted reporting (CAR), which can be used by journalists to make their investigative stories better and informative. 

The Scripps professors were invited by the 2011SUSI participant, Professor Vijaya Lakshmi to discuss democracy in journalism and CAR (Computer Assisted Reporting). Professor Kalyango, director of the Institute for International Journalism, focused on democracy and freedom of speech, a challenge for countries where speech is guarded and regulated by governments. Professor Edmondson focused on CAR program, which is a specialized kind of reporting that uses data and spreadsheets to find trends. Edmondson taught participants how to find reliable data on topics such as infant mortality, age expectancy and journalism safety, showing that the CAR program “gives power to reporting.”

Kalyango and Edmondson lectured at three universities, two of which were women’s universities, “I was excited by that,” said Edmondson. In between visiting the three Indian universities, the professors also traveled around to see some of India’s best-known tourism destinations such as the Tirumala Tirupati Devastanam (World’s  Richest Temple), the Ramoji Film City and the Taj Mahal.