On November 19, five journalists and two interpreters from Kosovo visited San Diego with stops at several new organizations and PLNU. PLNU was the only university on their itinerary. The group met with professor of journalism Dr. Dean Nelson and PLNU journalism students on campus to discuss journalism in democratic and emerging democratic societies.
The San Diego Diplomacy Council, an extension of the U.S. State Department and a nonprofit that seeks to “promote global understanding between San Diego citizens and … neighbors around the world,” brought the group to San Diego. This is one of several visits in the past few years where foreign journalists and PLNU journalism students have come together to dialog. In the past few years, journalists from Ukraine, Moldova, Kiev, and various African nations have visited PLNU for similar discussions.
Nelson said the visit covered many interesting topics; discussion included “what journalism could be like in a more mature democracy [like the U.S.]” as well as “encouragement to do journalism with courage and responsibility.”
PLNU journalism students had opportunities to participate in a roundtable discussion as well as a conversation in one of Nelson’s journalism classes.
Senior Kyle Lundberg, a journalism student who participated in the roundtable discussion, said the experience was enlightening.
“These kinds of events are so special and rare,” said Lundberg. “They really allow us to see what journalism looks like practiced in the real world. It also allows us an international perspective; although the journalists face certain unique challenges in their country, many of their challenges are similar to things American journalists face. It’s inspiring to see that we are connected in more ways than we are separated.”
Senior Shannon Barr, another student who joined the roundtable conversation, reflected on how the discussions impacted her view of journalism internationally as well as her own future career:
“One of the journalists said, ‘I do my job as a journalist not because of the salary, but because I love it. I think I will do it for the rest of my life,’” said Barr. “It is this mentality that I strive to have throughout my career path … Having the opportunity to listen to the stories of journalists from other countries allows me to see the struggles and dedication from individuals in this field – it personalizes previously distant situations and makes it a reality for those of us who don’t face those challenges right now. Listening to real people talk about the real issues they face and what they’re doing to bring awareness to citizens in their country allows journalism students, like myself, to be enlightened.”