|Romina Spina giving a lecture at the E.W. Scripps School|
of Journalism. Photo courtesy of Yusuf Kalyango
Thursday, April 16, 2015
By Cassie Kelly
Visiting international journalist, Romina Spina, says she has found many differences in the American journalism industry compared to her experiences in Europe. Ms. Spina visited Ohio University, courtesy of the Institute for International Journalism, in late March to early April 2015. Spina is a fellow of the Transatlantic Media Fellowship with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), which has given her an opportunity to visit over 25 cities in the United States for three months. Along the way, she is researching journalism ethics and the role of the public editor, or ombudsman, in a newsroom, as well as globalization and economic development in the United States.
“It seemed like the perfect opportunity to see places that typical journalists wouldn’t coming to America,” Spina said. “It’s a different world with all walks of life.”
Spina is a freelance correspondent in Rome for a Swiss daily newspaper known as Neue Zürcher Zeitung, with a circulation of about 100,000 readers. About 10 percent of the population in Switzerland are of Italian decent. So, when a position opened up for a freelance correspondent in Rome, she ceased the opportunity. She covers business and politics as well as other interesting events happening in Italy.
During her visit to Ohio University, she lectured in many journalism classes to discuss her views on ethics and also met with student leaders of publications. One of the many things that surprised her about the E. W. Scripps School of Journalism was that the students are 85 percent female. She also was intrigued by the idea of pursuing an 'American Dream' to aim for a better future.
“I am fascinated by the resilience and optimism that you can do things and that things can happen for you,” she said. “People in Italy tend not to focus on ‘all of that.’”
After some research, she has found many differences in the American journalism industry compared to her experiences in Europe. For one, in Italy, you have to take an exam to become a journalist, which entails studying their code of ethics.
For the remainder of her trip, she will be visiting Texas, California, Nebraska, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York and Washington D.C
Listen to her conversation with WOUB's Tom Hodson about her observations on American Journalism Ethics so far.