Jordan tour gives journalism students a real taste of international reporting

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In summary: 
  • UTS and Swinburne University journalism students are travelling to Jordan early next month to cover Middle East political, social, and economic issues as part of a two-week Commonwealth-supported study tour
  • The 2016 Foreign Correspondent study tour offers students the opportunity to report on scene within another culture, write news stories on location and work with real deadlines

Next month eight UTS and Swinburne University journalism students will venture outside the classroom to Jordan producing live stories from the ground.

The 2016 Foreign Correspondent study tour, from 5 to 20 November, is a joint program between the two universities, where students from both institutions will collaborate on producing journalism in the Arab world as part of their university learning.

The trip has been made possible by a grant of more than $35,000 from the Council for Australian-Arab Relations (CARR), which is part of the Commonwealth Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

"Through its Media Internship program, CAAR seeks to promote a holistic and contemporary mutual understanding between Australia and the Arab world," said CAAR Manager Genevieve Richards.

"The program is designed to encourage a two-way flow of media students and professionals to news agencies in both Australia and the Arab world. The funding is provided to organisations and universities to arrange media activities, such as an internship at, or professional tour of, media agencies. 

"Throughout their stay, the participants produce a stream of stories and pieces that are published in both Australia and the Arab world."

Leading the tour is UTS School of Communication's Senior Lecturer Dr Saba Bebawi.

"The real significance of this study tour is that students are living and practising journalism on the ground in a culture completely different to their own and learning how to navigate new media environments," Dr Bebawi said.  

"The Middle East is a major hub for journalists due to the continuous political events in that region. We are taking students to Jordan which has been a safe haven within such a vibrant spot for journalists.

"Jordan will allow them to cover political, social, and economic issues amongst others, with a focus on Australian/Arab Relations."

"The tour is as close to the real thing as you can get," according to Associate Professor Andrew Dodd, the program director of journalism at Swinburne University.

"We're excited to be working with UTS because we know all the student reporters will learn an incredible amount through exposure to the most authentic of experiences."

The study tour is in its second year and offers the university students the opportunity to report on scene within another culture, write news stories on location and work with real deadlines to soak up the "foreign correspondent" experience.

Students are provided with journalistic tools, in an international context, preparing them for future careers.

Follow their experiences throughout the trip by visiting the official Foreign Correspondent website, or by following these hashtags on InstagramFacebook or Twitter: #UTSJournalism #fcstudytour

The Foreign Correspondent 2017 study tour is planned to commence in June/July next year.  Interested students can enquire on the official website.