Saturday, October 3, 2015

IIJ hosts 2nd Swedish International Journalist at OHIO

By Cassie Kelly

The Institute for International Journalism (IIJ) in the E. W. Scripps School of Journalism has hosted another international investigative journalist from Sweden for a second year in a row at the Ohio University Athens campus. Daniel Persson, is on a working tour of the United States to research labor unions, economics, and consumer culture as a Transatlantic Media Fellow for the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). The IIJ has developed partnership with CSIS for the past three years, hosting its fellows—mostly prominent European Foreign Correspondents—every semester. Ohio University’s Professor Andy Alexander is the Washington DC liaison for this important partnership, helping to receive and welcome the correspondents there before they come to Athens, Ohio.

Daniel Persson enjoys a meal at Texas Road House in Athens, OH.
Mr. Persson’s tour of the United States started in Washington D.C. and his next visit was Athens, Ohio to learn about student life and to do his initial research on the topics of his investigations. During his four-day visit in the Scripps College of Communication, he delivered lectures to several classes and the members of the Chapter for the Society of Professional Journalists.

Persson says one thing that particularly intrigued him about the students was the idealistic campus with its many brick pathways and old, historical buildings. He especially enjoyed the seeing the squirrels around campus. He was the first visiting fellow to experience the new Schoonover Center since the completion of its renovation. He lectured in the classes at Schoonover Center and had a tour of the entire building. He appreciated students’ access to advanced latest technology and the newsroom environment it offers.

“I think Athens is like Disney Land,” Persson said. “It’s unreal in a way that doesn’t make sense. When you’re driving here you have a view of how the area should be and then it’s like an English private school in the middle of nowhere.”

In connection with his interest in consumer culture, he was also perplexed by the student’s sense of pride for their university and noticed how most students wear OHIO apparel when walking the streets of Athens. “The students are very young, but they are also very ambitious. They have everything they need here to succeed,” Persson said.

For the remainder of his stay in the United States, Persson is scheduled to visit the following States: Kentucky, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, Washington, California, Texas, Louisiana, Florida, and Georgia.

“I’m very excited to go around and just enjoy life and I need it personally for my development as a journalist,” Persson said.

Listen to his conversation with WOUB's Director, Tom Hodson, about his observations of consumerism in the United States.

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