Professor Monica Chadha and Director of Studies of Global Media Jeannine Relly hosted seven journalists from Barbados, France, India, Morocco, Nigeria, Peru, and Suriname.
On Friday, April 14, international journalists from the Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists visited the School of Journalism to learn about the Bilingual Journalism Program and Studies of Global Media Program.
Professor Monica Chadha and Director of Studies of Global Media Jeannine Relly hosted seven journalists from Barbados, France, India, Morocco, Nigeria, Peru, and Suriname. All of them had questions about the School of Journalism’s new global approach to media education.
“Even in France, I wish I had bilingual education in English so I could have had practice doing my job in English sometimes,” French Sports Broadcaster Karim Balde said. Balde is the president and editor in chief of Bal des Productions.
The School of Journalism’s current Bilingual Journalism Program is only offered in English and Spanish. However, School Director Jessica Retis told the group, we hope to expand the program to more languages in the future.
“We are advancing our research here on bilingual journalism pedagogies, so we are experimenting trying to understand how to train journalists in both languages at the same time,” Retis said. “We want students to go between languages fluidly in the classroom because we need to better serve our surrounding communities.”
The University of Arizona is immersed in a large Spanish speaking population and is recognized as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HIS). UArizona has been very supportive of Retis’ program and provided her initial funding to start the Bilingual Journalism Program in 2019.
“There is ample research about bilingual journalism and bilingual education, but these things don’t cross in academia,” Retis told the group. “That is what we are doing here.”
Retis explained that she’s adopted a linguistic theory that advances bilingualism from “codeswitching” to “translanguaging.”
“Prior research said we need to put one language to sleep while the other one is alive, but now we say that both languages are alive,” Retis said.
“You raise an interesting point, because I started to do some football analysis in English last year and each time I’m live on air it’s like an exercise to decide which language I should ‘put down’,” Balde said. “It would be interesting to get a bilingual journalism education like that.”
Retis said she also wants to change the culture of American newsrooms and bring more Latinos into those spaces. This led her to co-author her book, “Reporting on Latino/a/x Communities: A Guide for Journalists.”
“This is all wrapped into the culture of belonging,” Dr. Relly added. “If you want diverse ideas, you need to create an environment that’s a home to everyone.”
Journalist Sara Jabry from Morocco’s 2M TV wondered if social media was a part of the academic studies at the School of Journalism.
Relly explained how the Studies of Global Media Program is building an Audience Development class that will cover social media. In the meantime, the Disinformation & Information Security in a Global Media Context course teaches students how to fact check online content.
Relly brought the Studies of Global Media Program to life over the past years. The undergraduate and graduate programs are fully available online. With almost all the classes fully built for those programs, the Studies of Global Media combines critical thinking, ethics, media dynamics, media entrepreneurship, human rights, and media law into one degree.
“It’s really exciting to see Jessica and Jeannine spearhead the global perspective here,” Chadha said. Chadha will be the Director of Graduate Studies at the end of May 2023 and will oversee students in the Graduate Studies of Global Media Program.
Dr. Chadha is leading the creation of media entrepreneurship courses at the School of Journalism. Journalist Jabry asked Dr. Chadha why she chose to become a researcher here.
“I feel I’m in a better position to serve journalism by trying new things,” she said. “It’s only at an American university that you find they support funding the most interesting type of research and I love that.”
The School of Journalism is grateful to the Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists for bringing these individuals to the school and kudos to Dr. Relly and Dr. Chadha for organizing the event.
Other journalists in attendance:
Multimedia Journalist Nicholas Maitland from The Nation Publishing Company in Barbados.
Deputy Editor Abhilash Mohanan from Mathrubhumi News TV in India.
Deputy News Director Ohi Odiai from Arise TV in Nigeria.
Communications and Digital Content Manager Enrique Giuria Sanchez from CEDRO in Peru.
Editorial Employee Siphra Goudland from ATV Suriname in Suriname.