“I got to know through my experience that
the pen is mightier than the sword.
The soldiers were afraid of
the power of the pen.”

Kunle Ajibade, “The Pen Is Mightier”
“Attacks on the Press,” 1988, Committee to Protect Journalists

Ajibade spent three years in a Nigerian prison under a life sentence
for his actitivies as a journalist.

Welcome to your world!

     Welcome to Professor Malcolm Gibson's International Journalism (JOUR 590), a seminar-style class that meets 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in Room 206 Stauffer-Flint.
     This is a research/discussion class, so it demands a good bit of discipline and initiative on your part. Your success in this class will be determined by how seriously you take on the assignments and how hard you work. 
     Its purpose is for you to develop an understanding of how international media work. It is not a class to turn you into a foreign correspondent, though if that is your goal, it certainly will help.
     It will help journalists and non-journalists to be more sensitive of their surroundings, to understand, appreciate and respect diversity and diverse points of view, and to come away with a better understanding of events as they unfold before them. So, in the end, I believe those who take the class will be better observers of the world around them — which is important to all reporters, editors, communicators and participants on the world's ever-smaller stage.
    Now that I've told it how it really is, here's the official description of the course:

Freedom of Press Map
Here's a map (click for larger version) produced by Reporters Without Borders showing the degree of freedom of the press around the world.White indicates the best regarding freedom of the press. Please note that the United States is rated only “satisfactory” (in yellow), the same as many African countries and just above places like Angola and Venezuela! The U.S. is ranked 32nd, just above Lithuania. Details here.

International Journalism (JOUR 590) is a research/discussion class that examines the dynamics of media, especially (but not exclusively) in the developing world. It allows students — both journalists and non-journalists — to chart their own courses to gain a better understanding of the world around them. Using media and media's relationship to the world as a benchmark, participants discover how media touch — and are touched by — all aspects of the societies media serve. It also examines how all media -- and all practicioners within media -- have biases and discover that's it likely impossible to escape them. Through this examination, participants in the class will begin to uncover and understand their own biases that affect what they think and how they react to the world around them. A strong element of the class is an individually-selected research project. Each student will select a particular event, issue or personality and explore media influences as it relates to that selected topic.

    Good luck. And don't forget to bring doughnuts! 

(c) 2001-2013 Malcolm Gibson
Updated Nov. 18, 2013