Archive for the ‘International Communications’ category

The Global Reach of iMedia

February 13, 2012

The most innovative feature of our M.A. in Interactive Media program is the Winter Term fly-in.

Last month, our 41 iMedia students divided into five teams that went to Iceland, Mexico, Panama and Costa Rica (two teams) to produce an interactive project for the public good.

This week, three iMedia students will appear on “North Carolina Now” on UNC-TV public television (7:30 p.m. Thursday). Lindsey Taylor, Chris Kirkham and Brandy Stearns were part of a team that went to the reserve for the Boruca indigenous group in Costa Rica and created a website to showcase the group’s culture upon their return.

Their teacher, Associate Professor Amanda Sturgill, observed, “The fly-in is a key aspect of the iMedia program because students can integrate what they’ve learned in the fall as they work together, very hard, on these projects. Going to these countries and working with these organizations is a real challenge. We learn about other cultures and ways of life, all while getting a large project completed in a small amount of time.”

iMedia students prepare for the UNC-TV interview

Senior Lecturer Randy Piland, accompanied by Assistant Professor Nicole Triche, took students to Panama for his third year, this time to work with a group that does conservation and education about sea turtles. Piland said that the students were very fortunate to be there when baby turtles hatched and made their way to the sea – something that can’t be predicted. That moment was preserved by iMedia students in a video for the group’s website designed by the team.

Further north, Assistant Professor Phillip Motley took students to Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula, where they traveled for several days, ending up at Campanario Biological Station, which is run by a former Peace Corps volunteer who purchased the land and developed the station for education, conservation and research. Motley’s group carried gear across rivers and through jungles to get great shots of the biological and cultural diversity that Campanario seeks to preserve. “The problems that our students are expected to solve are genuine,” Motley said. “Providing our clients with a viable solution is the ultimate measure of project and course success.”

Assistant Professors Sang Nam and Max Negin took students to the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico to work with a program that provides supplementary education for children in the area. Students worked to develop a consistent brand for Academia Natanael, including designing custom logos for the group. They also incorporated a blog element into the website that lets the academy director tell the stories about his work in a way that he can easily update.

Really further north, a hardy group of iMedia students, Assistant Professor Derek Lackaff and Instructor J McMerty spent the first part of 2012 in Iceland. Lackaff’s students did a series of videos and a website redesign for the Citizen’s Foundation, which seeks to use new technologies to increase citizen participation in democratic decision-making. “Small societies are fascinating!” Lackaff said. “With only 315,000 residents in the country, we were told repeatedly that there are at most only two degrees of separation between any two Icelanders. The Mayor of Reykjavik, a Member of Parliament, and an Academy Award-nominated poet were among the friends of the nonprofit who were willing to be filmed for our project.”

iMedia students presented their work to a standing-room-only crowd in McEwen Communications Building two weeks ago, and now some of them will be on statewide television, sharing the story of Elon’s global reach through its interactive projects for the public good.

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Book Covers for Different Countries

January 28, 2012

Growing up, I naively thought a book had only one cover. When I read George Orwell’s 1984 as a teenager, the cover to the right was the one on my paperback.

In time, it became apparent that different editions have different covers. But publishers also design different covers for different audiences, including those in other nations.

Following last June’s blog on the best opening lines of literature, a reader asked if I knew the designer of the cover that I had included. I didn’t, but it really wasn’t hard to discover in this age of Google images. The French edition cover is reproduced here with the designer’s name.

French edition cover design by Michel Siméon, 1966

Here also is a 1984 cover for Indonesian readers. If you’re into it, this website offers a lot of examples of book-cover designs.

An Indonesian book cover

Fleet Street

November 3, 2011

St. Bride's Church

The church's altar of remembrance for fallen journalists

For 500 years, Fleet Street has been the generic term for “the press” in London, and its spiritual heart has been the church of St. Bride.

In the early days, the clergy had a near monopoly on literacy and were the printers’ best customers. The modern image of Fleet Street was born when it became the scene of transformation of the medieval art and “mistery” of printing.

In media history, students learn the name of William Caxton. After mastering the technique of printing in Germany, Caxton returned to London in 1476 and set up a press near Westminster Abbey. He proceeded to print about 100 books on subjects that included history and geography, the lives of saints, and most of Chaucer’s works.

Caxton died in 1491, and his apprentice acquired the press. England’s first printing press with moveable type was brought alongside St. Bride’s. In fact, the apprentice is buried in St. Bride’s.

The photos are compliments of Professor Jessica Gisclair of the School of Communications, who is leading the Elon in London program this fall.

Our Colleagues Abroad

September 14, 2011

Three faculty members in the School of Communications are teaching abroad this fall.

Glenn Scott is a Fulbright Professor in Japan. Follow his blog here as he and his family spend a year at the University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa.

This photo from his blog shows that a picture can be worth a thousand words, especially if you don’t speak the language. (The text reads: “Dear Dogs, Don’t walk by yourselves. Please bring your owner with you. And don’t forget to clean up your poop.”)

Department chair Jessica Gisclair is teaching this fall in Elon’s London program, and Tom Nelson is teaching in Elon’s program in Florence, Italy. We’ll see if they can provide similarly interesting signs in their overseas environs.

Turkish Delights

July 23, 2011

Vice Dean Billur Ulger of Yeditepe U walks the Elon delegation (Int'l Dean Woody Pelton flanked by Provost Steven House and wife Pat) to the Comm building

Turkey is an extraordinary country. My journey there this summer had three purposes:

1. A visit to Yeditepe University in Istanbul, which has a fine communication program. We had conversations with a dean and faculty members about forming a student-exchange partnership. While many Elon students want to study in Western Europe, an increasing number are looking to Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia for a stimulating academic and cultural experience. Yeditepe, on the Asian side of Istanbul, certainly qualifies.

2. As a U.S. delegate on the World Journalism Education Council, we met in Istanbul this week to hear presentations and select the site of the next World Congress in 2013. Our decision: Brussels, Belgium. We heard an excellent bid presentation by the European Journalism Training Association in conjunction with the Dutch network of journalism schools. This will be the third Congress. The first was in Singapore in 2007, and the second in South Africa in 2010.

Cappadocia's rock chimneys

3. After the work-related week in Istanbul, it was time for a few vacation days in Turkey. The ruins at ancient Ephesus were spectacular. So were the natural pools of Pamukkale and the amazing natural rock formations in the shape of chimneys in Cappadocia in central Turkey. Now it’s back to the United States, with a greater appreciation of Turkey’s beauty and strategic position in the world.

Computerworld Laureate

April 23, 2011

Congratulations to the Imagining the Internet Center and its director, Professor Janna Anderson of the School of Communications, for being named a laureate in the 2011 Computerworld Honors Program. It recognizes the use of information technology to promote positive social, economic and educational change.

The Imagining the Internet Center was selected as a laureate in the education and training category from more than 1,000 nominations. Laureates will gather for a black-tie awards gala on June 20 in Washington, D.C. At the ceremony, five laureates in each category will be named finalists for a 21st Century Achievement Award.

The center, an initiative of the School of Communications, admirably involves students in its activities. For example, students travel abroad each year to cover the Internet Governance Forum under the direction of a faculty member. Their coverage of these global events both serves the public good and can be a transformative experience for the students.

Live from Vilnius, Lithuania

September 26, 2010

Three School of Communications students and a professor covered this year’s Internet Governance Forum in eastern Europe — continuing Elon’s history of being the academic eyes and ears of the forum for the world.

Our coverage from Lithuania included live webcasts of panel appearances by Elon students Kirsten Bennett, Sam Baranowski and Drew Smith and by Professor Glenn Scott. They were streamed online by the United Nations on Sept. 16 and 17.

Our systematic reporting from Internet Governance Forums is a product of the Imagining the Internet Center, created by Elon’s School of Communications and under the direction of Professor Janna Anderson.