Research (Vol. 55) — Street Smarts

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Using Narrative Media Instruction and Experiential Learning to build Cultural Competency in Future Journalists

By Michael Longinow
and Tamara J. Welter

Introduction — Few lessons are more vivid from the presidential election of 2016 than the awareness that many of those most prominent in U.S news media do not know the real people that comprise audiences they claim to be serving[1]. Linked to this lesson is the attention given, since before that election, to the growing effects of “fake news” that uses stereotype and false perceptions of cultural reality to promote stories about marginalized people groups.[2]

Student journalism stands as a key resource for reform of these problems. As tools for guiding a grasp of critical thinking through investigation, narrative discovery and understanding of audience, the campus newsroom and classrooms of student media advisers have the potential to equip future leaders in American journalism with a deeper grasp of, and respect for, cross-cultural encounter, making students aware of the ways that audience can inform their approach to those far different from themselves.

Few research studies have brought learning theory to an examination of cross-cultural encounter as a teaching tool for guiding Millennials toward excellence in long-form journalistic storytelling in the 21st century.[3]  This paper will use experiential learning theory to show the ways that a cross-cultural pedagogy can have lasting effects on students’ approach to understanding themselves as journalists and their readers and viewers as a globally interactive audience. It will highlight ways in which experiential learning serves as an important pedagogical tool to bring Millennials from cross-cultural awareness to cross-cultural competency through encounter in pursuing long-form journalistic storytelling. It will suggest experiential learning as an antidote to cynicism among this age group about the role of fact-based journalism in 21st century media cultures.[4]

Theory background: Experiential Learning, Cultural Inquiry, and Millennials

 Students in the 21st century who put hands to the tools of journalism—keyboards, cameras, phones—to learn the work of news-related storytelling are illustrating the latest iteration of the power of experiential learning. And experiential learning as preparation for journalism careers in the U.S. traces to the earliest known coursework in North American journalism of the 19th century. Its roots are in on-site learning by apprentices in print shops of Western Europe and the American colonies.[5] But it is not a method without controversy.

After the U.S. Civil War, debate raged between working journalists and those who would train student journalists. The fight was about whether the best practices of the American press—done at that time by relatively few workers using limited technical skills—could be taught at all.[6] That debate lingers in the 21st century: some leaders in newsrooms remain suspicious or even disdainful of journalism education and most educators of journalism or media find themselves somewhere on a continuum between strict instruction in theory and training in professional skills. [7]

John Dewey’s argument for practical education in schools (including laboratory settings) grew out of an era when the middle class first emerged in the U.S. and professions were coming into new prominence. Specialized coursework was emerging, bringing with it schools of journalism, for credentialing professionals as those uniquely prepared for certain duties.[8]

Dewey’s plea was to reach students where they are: young people’s intensity of grasp for life’s complexities, he said, is seen most vividly in how they play or how they adapt to a job situation. But Dewey noted that unguided experience can become a maze of  “blind and capricious impulses” that he warned can “hurry us on heedlessly from one thing to another.”[9] Experiential learning, as a concept, ties students’ grasp of new ideas to brain function.[10] David Kolb’s theory of experiential education calls for transformation of experience, a process Lynn Montrose says must take the student deeper into the “why” of what they are doing rather than merely “how” that task should be done.[11]

And part of the guidance is toward reflection on experience—reflection of a kind that research suggests Millennials are less prone than others to do as they learn.[12] Bloom’s revised taxonomy of learning begins with memory—a looking back into prior experience as a leaping-off point into a true grasp of experiential moments as part of analytical thinking needed to begin the best innovative work.[13] And memory, cultural memory in particular, is a crucial starting point for students being led into cross-cultural encounter as an approach to in-depth journalistic storytelling.

Though the research literature is not plentiful, studies of experiential learning as an element in cross-cultural grasp of journalism show the benefits of this approach.[14] But the use of cross-cultural encounter as a teaching technique walks a perilous line between Millennials’ tendency to avoid personal (non-digital) encounter with unfamiliar people and what Maslow and Buber would describe as a basic human yearning to deeply know others.[15]

To use a cross-cultural approach with unprepared students begs cross-cultural encounter done badly—a problem affecting students and those whose stories they approach.[16] Cultural interpretation is a learned behavior, and scholars have developed measurements for cross-cultural sensitivity that are important to understand and make use of in taking students into experiential learning beyond their immediate cultural upbringing.[17]

Millennials, a group this research focuses on, are a cohort of learners (born between 1982 and 2002) unique among generations for their sense of having been “managed and supervised.”[18] They are also a generation who, much more than their parents’ or grandparents’ generations, carry emotional baggage that can inhibit their learning. Though research is mixed on it, there is some indication they are more prone than other generations to anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, and personality disorders.[19]

Added to the challenges of teaching Millennials about cross-cultural journalism is their tendency, as a group, to be apathetic toward news.[20] Yet research suggests that media literacy and a pattern of pursuing understanding of the world via news can be cultivated—at home, but also via the classroom.[21]

Background on Experiential Learning in this Media Project

Media projects examined in this paper were part of an upper-division, undergraduate elective course at Biola University, a faith-based, comprehensive university on the southeast edge of Los Angeles County, California.[22] The course was first offered in 2010 as a 3-week experience during what was then called Interterm (compressed, daily block-instruction in courses offered between fall and spring semesters). Its goal was for students to produce book-length investigative journalism under a tight deadline, approximating the time pressure journalists feel at midsize or large daily newspapers or magazines. (The course was expanded to a full semester after the first two years). From the course’s outset, students each took on at least one chapter that connected with a theme for the book—a theme with a “so what” angle based on recent events or ongoing trends in the news related to a cross-cultural topic.[23]

Biola University’s demographic is roughly 56% Caucasian, 18% Latino, 16% Asian, with 6.5% claiming a mix of races. The university’s gender ratio is about 63% female to 37% male. Students in projects evaluated by this study fit this ethnic demographic, though the male-female ratio in the Department of Media, Journalism & Public Relations—between 2007 and 2017—was majority female by an approximately 5:1 ratio.[24]

Projects in the course were designed to combine narrative journalism and visual journalism, though the mix varied depending on the personal strengths and coursework/campus media background of those who enrolled. A Web presence for the course—usually a stand-alone site with complementary media work—was added in later years, though that has varied according to student interest in creating compelling Web materials alongside work on the book.

A key premise of the course was that cross-cultural encounter, in the process of investigative reporting, enhances journalistic understanding of issues that can be polarizing in socio-political ways. It also presupposed the importance of  team-driven, collaborative, in-depth investigation as a catalyst to critical thinking and problem-solving to support best practices of long-form journalistic storytelling.

This paper will examine use of a four-stage template for completion of all six book projects, one built roughly on Bloom’s Taxonomy[25], over the seven years the media project has been part of the curriculum. This structure was useful for instruction but also offered alignment with department and university assessment of learning objectives, important for sustainability of the course.  This paper’s purpose will be to examine and compare benefits and drawbacks of variations in that template over time.

  • Stage 1: Idea Formation and Reflection
  • Stage 2: Research and Reflection
  • Stage 3: Writing and Visual Storytelling and Reflection
  • Stage 4: Final Reflection Post-Deadline

In all the projects, students were required to take initiative on research and reporting and do self-editing on their writing. Photojournalists and/or graphic designers in the class did their own reporting or worked alongside writers in their reporting. The course used a collaborative in-class approach to shape student thinking about how individual chapter angles fit the overall theme of a given book and photos would complement the overall narrative. Faculty feedback on students’ reporting, writing and photos (or audio or video work) varied based on the style and circumstances of instruction and who the instructors were.

All versions of the course were taught on campus in either an instructional media equipped classroom or media lab with access to software for researched writing and for editing of photos, audio and video. In most cases, the course was offered during spring semester with spring break used for travel to other countries as needed. Publishing of the book, from the beginning, was under a departmental imprint through an on-demand publishing company that allowed quick turnaround of whole-book proofs or page proofs, and speedy delivery of finished volumes. Book launch events helped bring closure to the project each semester.

Project 1: Launch in a Gang-Infested Neighborhood

The first project, preparations for which began in 2009, was aimed at telling the story of KidWorks, a non-profit organization in Santa Ana, California.[26] The grant-funded group with links to city agencies and local churches used tutoring and social service projects to pull children and young adults off the streets, away from gangs and gang-related violence and addictive behaviors.[27]

The instructor for the course, an adjunct faculty member, was a former projects reporter and editor for the Los Angeles Times whose day job was as full-time columnist with the Orange County Register. Insights from him on how to approach in-depth ideas in a team format became a set of collaborative practices that carried through projects in subsequent semesters. There was no intentional preparation for photo work or design in this first book.

Fresh out of major metro newsrooms, he took a pragmatic approach. This was his first time in a classroom. Students turned in drafts, they were shredded by close editing, returned, then shredded again. The process kept repeating until, by the end, students knew they had strong writing. But the shredding was not all done by the instructor. He had students hand their work to each other and the collaborative editing helped build morale and a deeper sense of buy-in among students, connecting them deeply to the project. The class was small: six students, all women, one of whom served as both writer and photojournalist. Two were Latina.

The 3-unit course, called Media Narrative Project, was offered during Interterm, a compressed semester in which students met for three hours every day for three weeks in January.

Students’ chapters in Book 1, accompanied by gray-scale photos, examined city and state agencies, church programs, and nonprofit groups surrounding KidWorks that were or were not providing help to at-risk children, youth and their families. Central Santa Ana is about 17 miles from the Biola University campus.

The project did not fit the four-stage template perfectly but found its closest conformity in a reliance on reflection discussions (woven into Stages 1-4), tied to the draft editing process. Idea-formation (Stage 1) came through discussion in the first two class sessions. The course relied on collaborative discussion in each class session. Since there was no textbook for the course—an approach that would continue through all the projects— students relied on give and take with the instructor and each other session by session to learn and improve research and reporting—including interviewing (Stage 2). While this trial-and-error approach could be harrowing for students, it made their work stronger over time.

But research and reporting (Stage 2) on this project were a struggle as students, mostly from suburban or rural backgrounds, stumbled through analysis of crime patterns, law enforcement, and cultural complexities surrounding life in central Santa Ana and the agencies, ministries and non-profit organizations that serve the city’s youth. Editing of the book, though painstaking, left it with errors that came up later when re-prints were ordered by KidWorks. Because only one student was shooting photos for the project, collaboration with writers was minimal (inhibiting visual alignment with Stages 2&3). But images collected did ultimately illustrate main themes of the writing, chapter by chapter.

A lapse in the course was that it did not make intentional preparation for, or discussion of, cross-cultural encounter a key element of the course even though the entire context of the book had to do with a section of northern Orange County whose density of Latino culture stood in stark contrast to the affluent majority culture surrounding it (including Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, and professional sports complexes for The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Anaheim Ducks).

Final reflection upon launch of the book (Stage 4) was minimal due to quick closure on the course, leaving students unable to process the depth of what they had accomplished.

Project 2: Skid Row in Los Angeles 

This project, the second and last to use the three-week Interterm to produce book-length journalism, sent students into downtown Los Angeles. Its aim was to study the latest trends in homelessness in the city and to explore the struggle of government agencies, non-profit groups and faith-based organizations to serve this growing population—the largest collection of homeless persons in the U.S.

The course and its project were led by the same instructor as Project 1, assisted by a full-time faculty member with background in  magazine, photo and design. The class, much larger than in Project 1, had 14 students. But only four were writers, so most in the class took photo assignments. As with project 1, the class was mostly women; the only non-Caucasian students in the class were from Asian backgrounds. Asians make up the smallest ethnic demographic in the L.A. skid row region.[28]

Idea Formation (Stage 1) and Research/Reporting (Stage 2) for this project were as challenging as in Project 1 in that students began with little sense of what the Skid Row section of Los Angeles is or what its needs are. In a departure from Project 1, some cross-cultural  preparation and discussion was set aside for photographers in approaching Skid Row; the writers  simply got in their cars and set out. Biola’s campus is about 35 miles from the central part of Skid Row.

As with Project 1, the experiential learning via reflection in Project 2 was a key element of this project from beginning to end (affecting Stages 2&3 in particular). As with Project 1, instruction in reporting and research also came by collaborative discussion—students telling the professors, and the class, what they knew and didn’t know. Initial discussion was about hunches or hypotheses. Over time, discussion grew more concrete, particularly as chapter drafts came due—reflecting the tendency of experiential learning toward maturity of thinking over time seen in Bloom’s Taxonomy. Photojournalists in the class conferred with those whose chapters they were illustrating to find angles and nuances for their visual storytelling. The book became a much more photo-driven collection of chapters than in Project 1—inadvertently setting a pattern for all books to come. In some cases, entire pages were filled by one or two images. All photos were in color. But the speed of task completion differed between writers and photo students. Photographers found themselves waiting for writers to develop their chapters; so reflection for those left waiting was enhanced. While the project suffered, in some ways, from a lack of unified or cohesive preparation for, or intentional discussion of, cross-cultural experience, the book’s final writing and photos did explore the clash and mingling of cultures that make up Skid Row and those who seek to remedy those on the streets and in shelters.

Launch of the finished book (Stage 4) was extensive, though delayed (many weeks after the end of the course); and it lacked the class reflection envisioned for students’ closure of learning. Not all students got to see it, but  their work brought together people with similar passions for remedying homelessness—people who might not have met otherwise.

Project 3: Dominican Republic: First Overseas Venture

This project began as an attempt to do reporting, writing and photojournalism in Haiti one year after the 2010 earthquake in the Port-Au-Prince region that drew world attention for killing hundreds of thousands and leaving many maimed or orphaned.[29] Shortly before the class was set to leave California, an outbreak of Cholera began spreading through Haiti, setting records as one of the largest epidemics of its kind. U.S. State Department warnings turned the project team away from Haiti. Rather than scuttle the project, they opted for reporting in the Dominican Republic, where faculty had contacts from an earlier trip, a non-book project. In that trip,  students had taken a photo skill-teaching approach to build  self-confidence and life focus in young people in Santo Domingo.

Due to the sudden change in trip locations, Stage 1 was more complex for Project 3. The research topic, one the instructor had to sell to some in the class, involved sports: it examined the inordinate number of U.S. Major League Baseball players coming out of the Dominican Republic. But it dug also into the stories of young boys in prison or on the streets of Santo Domingo for whom professional sports had proved an elusive dream. The team, 14 students, was still majority female but was split evenly between writers and  photojournalists. Two faculty led the project, one full-time (an expert in visual media), one adjunct (trained in print media). The racial demographic for the class again followed the pattern of the university, but that mix seemed to matter less than how many in the class had international travel experience. Very few had been out of the country, fewer still were bilingual. This would affect the team’s ability to process cross-cultural encounters—some across a Caribbean-based Spanish-English language barrier.

This was the first of the projects to be extended to a full semester and the first to bring online and multimedia elements to the experience. The reason for the move to a full semester came after weighing the tighter deadline against the comparative importance of more time for students to do substantive reporting and research on topics for which they had little prior preparation (expansion of Stage 2 and Stage 3). The class’ reporting and research trip took place during Spring Break, giving students five days on the ground in Santo Domingo.

In the absence of a quick end to a January term, deadline pressure had to be imposed by the instructor for early drafts, revisions and a final deadline. The incentive now was less urgent: a printer’s timeline for proofs, revised proofs, and final printing by the end of the semester. Success of faculty persuasion (or subtle coercion) toward this deadline had varied success through successive semesters, affecting students’ motivation for reporting and writing (Stages 2 and 3) and the depth and timing of a Stage 4 conclusion and reflection.

In a carry-over from Projects 1&2, reflection on research and writing or visuals was woven into this experience through individual and group discussions with the two faculty leading the trip. This discussion was crucial for processing culture shock—gaffes, failures, triumphs—of living and reporting in another country. That discussion happened each evening during the week in borrowed living quarters,  as well as during class sessions before and after the trip. Guest speakers, as “cultural interpreters,” were part of the reflection[30]. Cross-cultural encounter was life-shaping for this project’s students. They came away with deep questions about the effects of poverty, about criminal justice for juveniles, and about the contrast between success and failure in youth pursuit of professional sports recognition.

Final reflection (Stage 4) took place through multimedia assignments with audio-visual reflections from student staff members and through a final launch event where students shared their experience with guests. The class was able to arrange a visit to Anaheim’s Angels stadium where they presented a signed copy of the book to Albert Pujols—that year a new player from a trade to the Angels from the St. Louis Cardinals. Pujols was raised in the Dominican Republic.

Project 4: After School Intervention in Los Angeles

 This project attempted to combine two purposes: teaching camera skills to at-risk teens as pre-professional development, and reporting on how their lives were affected—for good or bad—by a Los Angeles County grant-funded program aimed at curbing gang violence. The housing project, Nueva Maravilla, is on Cesar Chavez Avenue in South Central L.A.

Administrators of the Los Angeles Community Development Foundation had reached out to Biola’s Journalism faculty after seeing online media about the program’s use of a Kids-With-Cameras[31] approach to work with teens in the Dominican Republic. The LACDF after-school program “Youth in Focus” had been using camera skill teaching as an empowerment tool and they wanted to partner with Biola’s Journalism faculty and students in their work[32].

Biola’s project class consisted of 11 students, one of whom grew up in inner-city Los Angeles. Two in the class were African-American, two were of Asian background. Most in the class were female. This class was the first project mixing students studying journalism with those studying public relations. Chemistry of that mix became a barrier the students had to overcome and magnified difficulties the group would deal with, logistically, in final weeks of the project.

The class  found that to pursue two goals—in-depth reporting and work with youth— became a  schizophrenic juggling act. City regulations on access to the youth, along with other logistical challenges, became a constant battle. And the agency lost funding for “Youth in Focus” part way through the project, leaving Biola’s writers and photographers without a structured way of meeting with their assigned students; they faced being cut off from reporting on the stories and background needed to complete the book’s research and writing (Stages 2 & 3). But with little prompting, and in a nod to Dewey’s suggestion that cyclical experiential learning grows into behavior over time, the book project students found ways to continue the working relationships with students they had met even after the agency failed to connect them. Chapter research came together and reporting and writing continued.

In a way, logistical challenges to the project became an unexpected part of  teaching these journalism students cross-cultural lessons about harsh realities and limits of reach for inner city bureaucracies surrounding at-risk youth and the programs intended to help them. Reflection, as had been true in previous projects, was key to dealing with reporting challenges—particularly the pending collapse of the program.. Perhaps due to the severity of crises in the project, blogging arose for the first time as a means of guiding book project students into reflection.

Closure of the project (Stage 4) was hampered by logistics of wrestling with city agency regulations; the book launch and its reflection elements did not take place at the end of the semester. The book was sent to press after students had left for summer break.

 Project 5: Haiti and the Second Overseas Venture

This project, aimed at helping commemorate the fifth anniversary of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, asked about how the country was rebuilding itself through education, business, economics, politics, and religious/faith experience. But due to logistics of instruction and planning for the course, the “so what” angle (there are many studies of Haiti) and a focused theme never fully came together, as needed in Stage 1. This lack of focus came up later in many ways. To save costs, project research travel was limited to three students, selected through application process. These students, who would do reporting and collect photos in Haiti, found themselves alienated from the remainder of the class who remained in California collecting background research. Part of that work included interviews with Haitian orphans—four siblings—adopted by a couple in Riverside after the earthquake.

Two full-time faculty worked with this project, one for writers and one for photographers. There were 11 students in the class, few of whom had traveled outside the U.S. Only one had been to Haiti. There were four writers (two of whom opted to also shoot photos). There were two students with video training and two students with design training.

Through their research, students—paired up for the project—developed a deep understanding of the complexity of life in Haiti before, during and after the earthquake. But the complexity not only became apparent, it stymied progress—research for several chapters mushroomed out of control (affecting the work of Stages 2&3). Despite consistent collaborative discussion, the task at times stalled for students who struggled across a vast cultural distance between affluent Southern California and the profound poverty in much of Haiti. Part of the shutdown also was because the mix of broadcast students, photo students and writers became a difficult, albeit creative chemistry. Disagreement and apathy emerged as the semester progressed toward planning, research and production deadlines.

Compounding this tense atmosphere was the need, in this semester, for faculty to delegate oversight of week-to-week progress to student leaders in the class. These student leaders struggled with buy-in from their peers: discussion and constructive reflection did not come as easily as in semesters when faculty led the give and take. While more freedom was given to this class than in previous semesters to develop a collective theme and unifying approach to their chapters (Stage 1),  that freedom, given the uneasy relationships in the class, led to stagnation of work on some chapters and heightened personality conflicts. Though the project included strong photos, ambitious graphics and parallel video components, the book had the smallest page length of any previous projects. Due to challenges with (and some students’ failure to comply with) chapter deadlines, no launch was planned for this book,  leaving the overall project without the needed time for reflection on what succeeded or went wrong (Stage 4).

Project 6: Immigration, Border Policy and the Wall at Tijuana

This project, planning for which began during the divisive 2016 U.S. presidential  campaign, aimed at telling stories of those affected by border enforcement and immigration policy—including past and pending changes. There were 16 students in the class, two of them male. The class had two Latinas, one student who had been raised in Trinidad, one who had grown up in Mongolia, another who grew up in Tajikistan but with Korean ethnicity. Two students in the class were raised in Texas, familiar with attitudes there toward migrants from Mexico and the politics of migration there. Most in the class had not had any relational interaction with migrants or those at the border. To avert some of the student-driven problems of Project 5, students were sent their chapter topics via email in late December. This put a constraint on student involvement in idea-formation (Stage 1), but also eliminated some of the ambiguity that in some semesters slowed kick-off of the work. Students were told that if they strongly objected to their topic, they would be assigned another. None took that option.

The narrative of each email was a personalized challenge and invitation to adventure: every student was told their chapter would be pivotal to the success of journalistic inquiry that was part of a national discussion. Each was told they were selected for their chapter because of their life story and previous performance in coursework. This group of students, from the beginning, was one of the most committed and cohesive of any previous project teams.

Because faculty in the class knew these students from previous courses (and their concentration in the major), students were assigned either photo or written chapters based on their career focus. Of the sixteen chapters, four consisted entirely of photos (no narrative other than captions). All narrative chapters were assigned a photojournalist to create an opening image and images within the chapter (requiring collaboration between writers and photographers).

The parallel Web site for the project became a repository for student blogs (reflection from Stages 2 &3) that were required in the course, video and audio clips, and an Instagram collection of photos—some from the book, others that weren’t selected for it[33]. Each student was required to place their work (narrative or photos) into a page template using Adobe InDesign software. Not all students in the class had experience with this software, but those that did  took on tutor roles to coach their peers into proper placement of text, photos and graphics.

Consistent with all the book projects, discussion was the glue that held the project together. The class met once a week for three hours and in every session students talked about what they were planning, what they were working on, what they had finished. As an aid to reflection, each class session ended with a 10-15 minute free-writing “take-away”—comments, questions, thinking. Blogging, as with previous projects, became a key means of student reflection. Each student was also required to create their own social media discussion surrounding their chapter research and write about reactions they were getting from those who responded (these responses occasionally came up in class reflection/discussions).

Though students were each responsible for their own reporting/research trips around Southern California (alone or with their photo or writer partner), the instructor arranged three fact-finding day trips for the entire class on select Fridays. The first was to San Diego’s Chicano districts and the U.S. side of the border wall; the second was to the East Coachella valley to visit migrant farm worker families and DREAM[34] students; the third, via the port at San Ysidro, was to Tijuana’s red light district and the “Door of Hope”[35] section of the border wall. Students were only required to participate in two trips (to accommodate those who had Friday classes). Most students attended all three trips. For each trip, the instructor (as with the Dominican Republic project) arranged for “cultural interpreters,” to guide students as they traveled in a given city or region. These trips were a boost to writing and photos for Stages 2&3 in the project for all students, though timing of some of the trips caused frustration for some—particularly if they did not have their own transportation. To ensure that Stage 4 closure could be put on the project and course, a rigid rough draft and final draft deadline were put in place with frequent reminders that deadlines were firm. One problem with these early deadlines was that student interest in the Web site diminished quickly once the book had been shipped to the printer. Planned bio narratives from each student, along with portraits of each, never got posted. But perhaps because the class felt the enormity of what they had accomplished, there was unity of effort  organizing a launch party for the book in a central campus location the week the books arrived.

Conclusion — Cross-cultural encounter, in this series of book projects, became a learning tool for students that went beyond the bounds of traditional journalism or media instruction. By coaxing students into reporting that was outside their experience with people of other ethnicities and diverse experiences, faculty led them into worlds they had rarely if ever seen, worlds they had perhaps misunderstood or misinterpreted. Experiential learning that came with long form journalism and in-depth reporting—narrative or visual—was helped or harmed by the degree of buy-in from students and the depth of reflection they brought to the class and their own learning. Faculty learned that close attention to planning for cross-cultural instruction usually brought good results, so that planning grew in the course year by year. Indeed, faculty learned alongside students about best practices for experiential learning—adding new instructional approaches year by year, eliminating others as they evaluated triumphs or failures of a given project. The template stages of learning set up for the projects could not always be followed closely by faculty or students due to circumstances of a given semester or the random selection of those enrolled (See Appendix). But where the stages worked well, they illustrated the theories of Bloom’s taxonomy and what Dewey might call experiential learning through practical journalism instruction.

Cross-cultural journalism, of the kind these students experienced, will only become more crucial in months and years to come. That kind of teaching is not only possible, it can be a benefit to students and programs in the 21st century.  This project serves as a model for the kinds of journalistic learning Millennials will need if they are to avoid the dysfunction of shallow approaches to a rapidly globalizing marketplace of culturally diverse stories.

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Appendix: Notes on Procedure in the Projects

Book One: Santa Ana Kid Works

STAGE ONE:
Idea Formation
STAGE TWO: Research STAGE THREE: Writing & Visual STAGE FOUR: Final Reflection
Approach to Project The general theme idea (connection with Kid Works in Santa Ana) was given by the professor. Students did development of ideas and approach under supervision of professor. Writers were given assignments from their professor. Photographer worked fairly separate from the team.

Because this project took place during Interterm, it had little to no closure.

No larger group reflection and consideration took place because of the nature of the course being offered in three weeks.

Approach to Reflection Reflection for the idea formation did take place in meetings as student writers considered what stories needed to be told to develop the book. The reflection after research and site visits was done with group meetings. The reflection during the process of writing was similar to during research, taking place in group meetings. Cultural consideration was not deliberately present.
Success of Reflection

Reflection was successful as group discovery.

Reflection led to revision of research approaches.

Class reflection was mostly about writing; interaction on visuals was peer-to-peer.

Final reflection was not a high priority in the project, leading to little closure.

The project, overall, was successful as a first venture.

Overall success of the project As this was the first project, the completion of the book was extremely successful. Research met the overall purposes of the project, though haltingly. Improvement of writing and visuals led to an overall successful first book project.
Things to do differently Connecting with organizations is a good strategy to get resources to guide students’ cultural learning; focus on one location would be avoided. Better preparation for students in understanding the cross-cultural implications of their reporting and research would have helped.. Writers and the one photographer would have benefited from better guidance on their approach to fact-finding and the improvement of photos. Initial changes were focused on including visuals more intentionally. Later reflection led us to move the course to a full semester.

 

 

 

 

Book Two: Skid Row

STAGE ONE:
Idea Formation
STAGE TWO: Research STAGE THREE: Writing & Visual STAGE FOUR: Final Reflection
Approach to Project The general theme idea (Skid Row) was given by the professors but the students did all further development of ideas and approach. Writers did basic research and reporting. Photographers were connected with personnel at URM (Union Rescue Mission) to begin to learn about the community and explore people’s stories.. Students were given assignments from their professors and sent out like professionals to explore their stories/photo assignments and return to report to their professors.

Reflection for photographers took place through journals and for writers during group discussions during the course, but no larger group reflection and consideration took place because of the nature of the course being offered in three weeks.

 

A final launch of the book, once printed, was done in the

and did allow some  students time to reflect.

 

 

Approach to Reflection Students were not involved with the initial formation of the idea. This was assigned by faculty. There was no real reflection for students at this point. Reflection took place each evening for writers as they gathered with their professor to discuss what they had found for their stories.  Reflection for photographers took place through discussion and assigned journal entries after each visit to L.A. The approach to reflection during the gathering of the stories took place in group discussions and through assigned journal responses (for photographers).
Success of Reflection Initial consideration of the assigned topic, location and direction took place in the first day or two of class. This was useful, but could have been more successful if students had been involved (with a longer class template). The reflection after research was done with group meetings, mainly, although the photographers also completed journal entries. These were all fairly successful for the short timeframe in which the class took place. The reflection during the process of writing for that group was extremely helpful as a future journalist. Cultural consideration was not as present for the writers as it was for photographers.

Because this project took place during Interterm, it had little to no closure and students left without fully working through what they had experienced.

 

Closure on the project was not what it should be to bring maximum learning for students.

Overall success of the project in each stage This was such a tight project (working within three weeks), that it is more difficult to separate each of the stages. The development of the stories and thus the theme were driven by the writing team.The success, in the end, was in the finished project as well as the exposure to this community for our students. The short timeframe for students didn’t allow writers time to understand the community, but being focused on only one course gave them the space to deliver the content. Photographers needed more intentional connection with the writers and their ideas a bit earlier in the course. A longer timeframe overall would help.
Things to do differently We decided after this project that we would not do a book project during the short term but instead spread it out over the semester. Writers did a great job under the time constraints, location and logistic challenges. Moving it to a semester or to two semesters will help with research and with reporting. We later developed a closing launch experience to allow students to have closure. Also, the use of journals or blogging should be included each time.

 

Book Three: Dominican Dream

STAGE ONE:
Idea Formation
STAGE TWO: Research STAGE THREE: Writing & Visual STAGE FOUR: Final Reflection
Approach to Project Foundation set by faculty for location and core resources; students researched the D.R. and developed theme. Students researched before traveling to the D.R. and developed foundational theme and background. Then they explored topics, sources, stories, etc. from leads developed while in the D.R. Students visited locations set up by faculty and contacts (schools, MLB locations, etc.). They then began to make contacts and explore stories that splintered off. They met each night with faculty in the process while in the D.R. Much of the work was completed while in the D.R.

Students did audio-video reflections after they returned from the trip.

 

This assignment allowed the students to reflect personally, but also with their peers who shared the experience with them. A book launch was also done to allow the students to share their work and experiences with the community.

Approach to Reflection The initial formation of the location and idea for the book was done by the faculty, but the theme was developed by the students. The reflection during the students’ development of the theme was mixed with their initial research for the project and in reflection during that portion. Reflection took place each week when we met together as students brought their area of assigned research on the country for presentation and discussion as a group. The approach to reflection during this project came in two forms: first, each night on location students met with faculty to reflect on the day and on their projects and each morning to pray, reflect and consider the coming activities.
Success of Reflection The reflection during this time was good for the team development as many of them didn’t want to focus on baseball but the research for the project led them to realize it had to be an important part of their book. The reflection approach through discussion  allowed them to take ownership together of the book and the theme they were developing. The reflection each evening was mixed with hands-on work for both the photographers and the writers. It was an intense week in the D.R. as they had to collect everything they needed while there. So reflection was sometimes mixed with work which was helpful but also more difficult to be intentional about in this way. Because the final reflection was done both in discussion as a group and as audio-visual assignments, the post-reflection was very strong. Also, a book launch was orchestrated by a separate class which allowed for students working on the project to reflect and celebrate further (but without having to do the event arrangements).
Overall success of the project in each stage The initial arrangement of location, resources and early sources helped the project; looseness of arrangements allowed room to explore, making it more difficult to navigate. But in the end it allowed students to take more ownership of the project. The initial research on the project direction was guided by faculty (giving students areas to explore) but left to the students to develop. This worked well for this project because it helped students take ownership of the project. A good mix of faculty structure, orchestration, and guidance with student ownership and exploration worked well in this project. The team was so exhausted at the end of this project that it was difficult to get them to complete the final reflection project. Most did and it proved to useful.. The launch also was successful as final reflection..
Things to do differently More structure given up front can be more helpful. Once on the ground in the D.R. it was not structured enough and made it a more difficult arrangement for faculty navigating logistics. Although the initial exploration of direction and theme by students helped with them taking ownership of this project, we found this approach to be weak in later projects. If this approach the risk is present, depending on the students involved, that the project may struggle. This part worked quite well for this project. The logistics was the main struggle for this project during writing and visual storytelling process. Allowing the reflection to be less “production” work by the students and more reflective can help in their final processing. The inclusion of the event at the end is really helpful if it can be arranged by an outside group.

 

Book Four: Growing up in East L.A.

STAGE ONE:
Idea Formation
STAGE TWO: Research STAGE THREE: Writing & Visual STAGE FOUR: Final Reflection
Approach to Project Foundation set by faculty for location and core connections. Faculty also established connections with youth organization through which East L.A. youth would be mentored in visual storytelling. The initial formation of the site and idea for the book was done by the faculty, but the theme “Growing Up in East L.A.” was developed by the students. Students researched about the development of East L.A.  before meeting with the students they would mentor and develop the book with.They worked with the L.A. students to  explore topics, sources, etc.to tell stories of their community. Students visited students in the Youth in Focus program, mentoring them in visual storytelling. The groups then explored stories about the community that the students in L.A. felt would be good to share in the book.

The students from Biola kept a regular blog as a means for regular reflection. They did have a final post, but not all students were required to do so.

 

A closing event was when the East L.A. students took a field trip to Biola and our students hosted them for the afternoon. This time of discussion and reflection (photo portraits were taken; a walk through campus was taken by the group) brought closure to the project for both groups.

Approach to Reflection Students were not involved in the initial formation of the approach and idea. This was done by faculty and organization leaders. Once students began to explore the approach to the book, reflection took place in class discussions. Reflection took place each week when we met together as students brought their area of assigned research and discussion as a group. The approach to reflection during the gathering of the stories took place in group discussions and through the assigned blog postings.
Success of Reflection These times of reflection during the initial exploration of the topic and early interactions with the site were important as the students began to try to understand this neighboring community. It was a dynamic group of students who engaged with the topic and with the community, which truly carried the project beyond some of the challenges that it faced. Because the students were mixing mentoring of L.A. students with exploring and developing stories about East L.A., the reflection that took place in class was important as they worked through approaches to stories and how to best incorporate the L.A. students in the project.

The final reflection followed a group interaction with the youth on Biola’s campus. This was truly very successful for the students as they considered their roles as mentors as well as storytellers.

 

The final visit by the East L.A. youth to Biola was a great success and made up for a lot of the challenges with the project.

Overall success of the project in each stage The groundwork for this project allowed it to be completed, but the dissolving of the organization as well as the unexpected red tape (students needing background checks, etc.) made it challenging. The development of the stories and the theme were worked on collaboratively with the Biola students and the East L.A. youth. This worked well for this project because it helped students take ownership. There were, indeed, challenges with this project (including the fact that students would sometimes “not” show up for their meetings so we wouldn’t be able to complete what we had planned). But the mentoring of the youth and working with them to find and tell stories allowed our students to experience the story of East L.A. in a way they otherwise wouldn’t have. This made the cultural experience and learning much stronger in this project.
Things to do differently We decided after this project that we would try to focus only on the creation of the book (and supplemental material) for this particular course. Allowing students to explore and determine the theme and the chapters can go astray (as seen in other projects) but it did seem to work well for this book. The challenge we ran into with students either not showing up or not being capable of creating content for the book made the team have to shift with some of their expectations and direction. Not bringing others into the mix for production of content is another way to simplify the number of moving parts and allow for a more successful project. The visit by the group of youth was a great part of the project, but having a launch party has proven to be a positive way to close the project.

 

Book Five: Haiti Five Years After Earthquake

STAGE ONE:
Idea Formation
STAGE TWO: Research STAGE THREE: Writing & Visual STAGE FOUR: Final Reflection
Approach to Project Foundation set by faculty for location and core connections. Students researched about the country: economics, government, family, etc. and presented in class to each other.

Visuals were primarily collected by photographers who were part of the team that went to Haiti. Some photos were completed locally.

 

Stories were developed through research and interviews done online and through team contributory interviews on location.

The group that traveled to Haiti had a time of reflection over a meal with a faculty person from Intercultural Studies who had been a part of other efforts in Haiti.

 

Students were required to write reflections after each class session but because of the challenges with this particular book, we did not have a culminating reflection  except through a journal entry.

Approach to Reflection Students were not involved in the initial selection of the focus of the book. This was done by faculty. Once students began to explore the approach to the book, reflection took place in class discussions and written journals. Reflection took place each week when we met together as students brought their area of assigned research and discussion as a group. Also, each discussion ended with time allowed for written reflections that were submitted to the professor. The approach to reflection during the gathering of the stories took place in group discussions and through the assigned journal reflections.
Success of Reflection These times of reflection during the initial exploration of the topic and early interactions were important as the students began to try to understand the Haitian nation and people. This portion was successful. The application to the project struggled. The team itself struggled with collaboration and direction ultimately reflecting in the difficulty in completing the project. Not all students traveled to Haiti which made this reflection more challenging during the producing of material.

Reflection by the team that went to Haiti was successful.

 

The difficulties with the team dynamics in this project made final reflection a bit difficult. It was not seen as successful by the professors.

Overall success of the project in each stage The groundwork for this project allowed it to be completed, but the team did struggle to move from the initial idea to a structure for the book. The forming of a theme and direction for the book struggled and, therefore, impacted the success of the rest of the stages. The writing and selection of images struggled because of the lack of focus and direction for the project.
Things to do differently We decided after this project that faculty do need to select direction for the project. It was determined that faculty should be more intentionally involved in the theme and direction determination for the project. Because of the difficulties with the team determining theme and direction, the writing, photography and design suffered. If the location, theme and chapters were identified ahead of time, the project work move more smoothly through this process. All students reflecting in discussion with the team that traveled would have been beneficial; having all students travel to site would have been best. A final launch is important, and a reflection on what could be learned would be good. This was only done in written, journal form.

 

Book Six: The Border Project

STAGE ONE:
Idea Formation
STAGE TWO: Research STAGE THREE: Writing & Visual STAGE FOUR: Final Reflection
Approach to Project Faculty research a topic with news relevance, using that idea to invite students into the project. Some selling of the topic is necessary, but ultimately pays off. Research by each student builds off the pre-selected topic. Faculty guide the reporting and research through discussion and one-on-one feedback.

Visuals collected by photographers during trips to locations selected by faculty.

 

Stories were developed through research and interviews done online and during trips to predetermined locations.

Students looked back on the project through class discussion, a final paper, blogs, and an evening book launch party in a central part of campus location. One spontaneous moment of reflection came during a photo-shoot for portraits of each student aimed at the parallel Web site for the book. Though those portraits were never posted, a group photo of everyone holding their books was posted to social media and has become a symbol of the book’s success for them as experiential learning.
Approach to Reflection Students were not involved in the initial selection of the focus of the book. This was done by faculty.  Reflection on the topic was done through class discussions after guests came to talk about the culture and the challenges for immigrants. Research by each student was self-starting, guided each week by discussion and, in some cases, by appeals to the instructor via email. The approach to reflection during the writing and capturing of images was practical problem-solving: finding sources, getting to certain locations at important moments, etc.
Success of Reflection Success came through each student personalizing and bringing their own insights to the assigned idea and the research involved with it. The success of reflection (or lack of success) showed itself in the finished writing and in the visuals in the final drafts turned in. Overall success of reflection and of the overall project was evident in the session where books were handed out to students—a moment preserved for everyone. No books were handed out early or individually. As they were all unveiled at once, students sat silent, leafing page by page through their work; discussion flowing from what they saw was pivotal to their learning.
Overall success of the project in each stage The groundwork for this project allowed it to be completed within the semester. The forming of a theme and direction for the project was determined by the professor. This allowed for successful completion of the book within the semester. Because of the structure, early contributions to chapters allowed for the completion of the book during the semester.
Things to do differently The pendulum swung for this project to be more structured by the professor. This was a good move as it allowed the project to be completed on time. Upon reflection by the professors, we have decided to try to build the course over two semesters so students can be involved earlier (Fall semester)  in choosing  the project’s  direction; production would then begin earlier in Spring semester, guaranteeing time for closure and reflection.

[1] Angela Lee, “Social Media and Speed-Driven Journalism: Expectation and Practices” International Journal on Media Management 17 no. 4 (Oct.-Dec. 2015): 217-239; Lucas Graves, Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler, “Understanding Innovations in Journalistic Practice: A Field Experiment in Examining Motivations for Fact-Checking” Journal of Communication 66 no. 1 (Feb 2016): 102-138.
[2] Paul Mihailidis and Samantha Viady, “Spreadable Spectacle in Digital Culture: Civic Expression, Fake News and the Role of Media Literacies in “Post-Fact” Society, American Behavioral Scientist 61 no. 4 (April 2017): 441-454; Meital Balmas, “When Fake News Becomes Real: Combined Exposure to Multiple News Sources and Political Attitudes of Inefficacy, Alienation and Cynicism,” Communication Research 41 no. 3 (April 2014): 430-454.
[3]           Craig Fluornoy, “Doing Learning: Investigative Reporting and Service Learning,” Journalism & Mass Communication Educator  62 no. 1 (Spring 2007): 47-61; Bill Birnbauer, “Student Muckrakers: Applying Lessons from Non-Profit Investigative Reporting,” Pacific Journalism Review 17 no. 1 (May 2011): 26:44.
[4] Regina Marchi, “With Facebook, Blogs and Fake News, Teens Reject Journalistic ‘Objectivity’” Journal of Communication Inquiry 36 no. 3 (July 2012): 246-262; Geoffrey Baym, “The Daily Show: Discursive Integration and the Reinvention of Political Journalism,” Political Communication 22 no. 3 (July-Sep 2005): 259-276; Nicholas Browning and Kaye D. Sweetser, “The Let Down Effect: Satisfaction, Motivation, and Credibility Assessments of Political Infotainment” American Behavioral Scientist 58 no. 6 (May 2014): 810-826.
[5] E.W. Brewer, “The History of Career and Technical Education” in Wang, V.C. (ed.) Definitive Readings in the History, Philosophy, Theories and Practice of Career and Technical Education (Long Beach, CA: Zhejiang Press,1997);  R. Halpern, The Means to Grow Up: Reinventing Apprenticeship as a Developmental Support in Adolescence (New York: Routledge, 2009).
[6] Wanda Brandon, “Experiential Learning: A New Research Path to the Study of Journalism Education” Journalism & Mass Communication Educator 70 no. 3 (Sep 2015): 59-66.
[7] Diane Lynch, Above & Beyond: Looking at the Future of Journalism Education. The Knight Foundation (Feb. 19, 2015). https://knightfoundation.org/reports/above-and-beyond-looking-future-journalism-educati Serena Carpenter, August Grant and Anne Hoag, “Journalism Degree Motivations: The Development of a Scale” Journalism & Mass Communication Educator 71 no. 1 (March 2016): 5-27; John Maxwell Hamilton “Journalism Education: The View from the Provost’s Office” Journalism & Mass Communication Educator 69 no. 3 (2014), 289-300.
[8] Burton J. Bledstein, The Culture of Professionalism: The Middle Class and the Development of Higher Education in America (New York: W.W. Norton Company, 1978): 102, 282; Frederick Rudolph, The American College & University: A History (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press,1962, 1990):343.
[9] John Dewey, Democracy and Education (New York: Free Press/Macmillan, 1944), 201,140.
[10] Joaquin Garcia Carrasco, Maria Jose Hernandez Serrano, Antonio Victor Martin Garcia, “Plasticity as a Framing Concept Enabling Transdisciplinary Understanding and Research in Neuroscience and Education” Learning, Media and Technology 40 no. 2 (2015): 152-167; Geoffrey Caine & Nummela Renate Caine, “Meaningful Learning and the Executive Functions of the Brain” New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education 110 (Summer 2006): 53-61; Mimi Liljeholm, J. Ciara Molloy & John P. O’Doherty, “Dissociable Brain Systems Mediate Vicarious Learning of Stimulus-Response and Action-Outcome Contingencies,” Journal of Neuroscience 32 no. 29 (2012): 9878-9886.
[11] David Kolb, Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1984); Lynn Montrose, “International Study and Experiential Learning: The Academic Context” The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad 8 no. 2 (2002): 1-15.
[12] J. Johnson, “Defining Reflection in Student Affairs,” The Vermont Connection 30 (2009); E.M. Boyd & A.W. Fayles, “Reflective Learning: Key to Learning from Experience” Journal of Humanistic Psychology 23 no. 2 (1983): 99-117; David Boud, Rosemary Keogh and David Walker, “Promoting Reflection in Learning: A Model in David Boud, Rosemary Keogh and David Walker (eds.) Reflection: Turning Experience into Learning (London: Kogan Page, 1985): 18-40.
[13] Benjamin S. Bloom, Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: The Classification of Educational Goals. Handbook 1: Cognitive Domain (New York: David McKay Co., Inc., 1956): 7-8; L.W. Anderson &  D.R. Krathwohl (eds.) P.W. Airasian, K.A. Cruikshank, R.E. Mayer, P.R. Pintrich, J. Raths, and M.C. Wittrock, A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching and Assessing: A Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. Complete Edition (New York: Longman, 2001).
[14] Barbara J. Feldman, “Journalism Career Paths and Experiential Learning” Journalism & Mass Communication Educator (Summer 1995): 27; John Hatcher, “The Urban News Project: Examining the Impact of Community-Focused Reporting on Student Perceptions of Journalism and Community” Journalism & Mass Communication Educator (Autumn 2009): 311.
[15] Abraham Maslow, Motivation and Personality (New York: Harper, 1954); Martin Buber, I and Thou Trans. Ronald Gregor-Smith (New York: Scriber, 1984); R.J. Lee-Won, L. Herzog and S.G. Park, “Hooked on Facebook: The Role of Social Anxiety and Need for Social Assurance in Problematic Use of Facebook” Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking 18 no. 10 (2015): 567-574.
[16] Qin Xizheng, “Teaching Foreign Languages by Exploring Intercultural Misunderstanding,” Intercultural Communication Studies 12 no. 1 (2016): 66-82; Cheryl Mattingly, “Reading Minds and Telling Tales in a Cultural Borderland” Ethos 36 no. 1 (2008): 136-154.
[17] Mary R. Moeller and Dianne Nagy, “More Questions than Answers: Assessing the Impact of Online Social Networking on a Service Learning Project” International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning 7 no. 1 (2013); M.J. Bennett, “A Developmental Approach to Training for Intercultural Sensitivity” International Journal of Intercultural Relations 10 no. 2 (1986): 179-196; M.J. Bennett, “Towards Ethnorelativism: A Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity,” in R.M. Paige (ed.) Education for Intercultural Experience (Yarmouth, ME: Intercultural Press, 1993): 21-71; Clifford L. Geertz, The Interpretation of Cultures (New York: Basic Books, 1973).
[18] K.R. Hollingswood, J. Dunkle & L. Douce, “The High-Risk, Disturbed (and Disturbing) College Student” New Directions for Student Services 128 (2009): 37-54; Neil Howe and William Strauss, Millennials Rising: The Next Generation (New York: Vintage, 2000); Allison J. Head and Michael B. Eisenberg, “Truth be Told: How College Students Evaluate and Use Information in the Digital Age” Project Information Literacy Progress Report. The Information School, University of Washington (2010).
[19] S.A. Benton, J.M. Robertson, W.C. Tseng, F.B Newton and S.L. Benton, “Changes in Counseling Center Problems Across 13 Years,” Professional Psychology: Research & Practice 34 no. 1 (2003); Kari Much & Amy L. Swanson, “The Debate about Increasing College Student Psychopathology: Are College Students Really Getting Sicker?” Journal of College Student Psychopathology 24 no. 2 (2010); Justin Hunt & Daniel Eisenberg, “Mental Health Problems and Help-Seeking Behavior Among College Students” Journal of Adolescent Health 46 no. 1 (2010): 3-10.
[20] David Mindich, Tuned Out: Why Americans Under 40 Don’t Follow the News (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005); S. Iyengar, K.S. Hahn, H. Bonfadelli, M. Marr “‘Dark Areas of Ignorance’ Revisited: Comparing International Affairs Knowledge in Switzerland and the United States” Communication Research 36 no. 3 (2009): 341-358; A. Dahwan, “Spectators or Patriots? Citizens in the Information Age” International Journal of Progressive Education 12 no. 1 (2016): 35-50; Mark Bauerlein, The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans (or Don’t Trust Anyone Under 30) (New York: Tarcher Perigree/Penguin Books, 2009).
[21] Denise-Marie Ordway, “Do Parents Still Model News Consumption? A Look at Teens’ News Habits” Journalists’ Resource: Research on Today’s News Topics Harvard Kennedy School Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics & Public Policy. https://journalistsresource.org/studies/society/news-media/child-teen-news-consume-parent-habit Accessed July 11, 2017.
[22] Biola University is a non-denominational Christian institution that houses a department of Media, Journalism and Public Relations in the School of Fine Arts and Communication. Journalism students are required to choose capstone courses that highlight their concentration: Writing & Publishing, Visual Journalism, Broadcast Journalism or Cross-Cultural Journalism. This course serves as one capstone choice.
[23] Topics have included city agency and non-profit work with Latino children, youth and families in Santa Ana, California; trends and solutions to homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles; the role of visual media skill-learning as a tool for reaching and retaining at-risk youth in an after-school program funded by a city grant in Los Angeles; professional baseball as means of escape (and illusory goal) for young males in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Haiti and its rebuilding efforts after the 2010 earthquake; and the plight of men, women and families on either side of the U.S. Mexico border at Tijuana before and after the 2016 U.S. elections.

[24] https://www.collegefactual.com/colleges/biola-university/student-life/diversity/ accessed July 4, 2017. Kimberly Martinez, “Biola University Institutional Research Releases 2010 Diversity Statistics” The Chimes http://chimes.biola.edu/story/2010/oct/21/biola-diversity-statistics/ accessed July 4, 2017.
[25]  Benjamin S. Bloom, Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: The Classification of Educational Goals. Handbook 1: Cognitive Domain (New York: David McKay Co., Inc., 1956): 7-8. Bloom’s taxonomy moves from memory of basic concepts to understanding, then applying, analyzing, evaluating, then finally, creating.

[26] Santa Ana, one of the largest cities in Orange County, has one of the most heavily Latino populations in California and has been part of a pipeline of migration from Mexico to the United States for generations. http://statisticalatlas.com/place/California/Santa-Ana/Race-and-Ethnicity. Accessed July 3, 2017; Adam Nagourney and Jennifer Medina, “This City is 78% Latino and the Face of a New California” The New York Times  (Oct. 11, 2016).
[27] Jessica Kwong, “KidWorks Seeks Funds to Purchase Warehouse and Double its Programming for At-Risk Santa Ana Youth” Orange County Register (Aug. 29, 2015).

[28] This link examines the racial and ethnic demographics of  Skid Row in Los Angeles http://statisticalatlas.com/neighborhood/California/Los-Angeles/Wholesale-District-Skid-Row/Race-and-Ethnicity. Accessed July 22, 2017.
[29] Estimates vary as to how many people were actually killed. Maura O’Connor, “Two Years Later, Haitian Earthquake Death Toll in Dispute” Columbia Journalism Review Jan. 12, 2012. “http://archives.cjr.org/behind_the_news/one_year_later_haitian_earthqu.php accessed July 17, 2017.
[30] Clifford Geertz, The Interpretation of Cultures (New York: Basic Books, 1973); Colleen Murrell, “International Fixers: Cultural Interpreters or ‘People Like Us?’” Ethical Space: The International Journal of Communication Ethics 10 nos. 2,3 (2013): 72-79; Elizabeth Miller, “Learning to Interpret Cultural Meaning Through an Etic Description of Familiar Culture” Teaching Sociology 42 no. 4 (2014): 298-302.
[31] Kids with Cameras, folded now into Head First Development, empowered children and youth in their sense of identity by putting cameras in their hands to tell stories of their worlds. http://headfirstdevelopment.org/kidswithcameras/ Accessed July 13, 2017. Kids With Cameras grew out of the earlier work of Zana Briski in research that became an internationally acclaimed documentary “Born Into Brothels.” http://www.zanabriski.com/born-into-brothels-1/ Accessed July 13, 2017.
[32] https://lacdf.hacola.org/ Accessed July 13, 2017.

[33] Beyond the Wall: Migrants, the Border and the Complexity of Compassion. http://jim.biola.edu/beyond-the-wall/ (accessed July 20, 2017).
[34] Kristen Hwang, “For California act allowing undocumented students to receive financial aid, applications plummet,” The Desert Sun Feb. 22, 2017. http://www.desertsun.com/story/news/education/2017/02/22/california-dream-act-applications-plummet-immigration-fears-high/98222968/ Accessed July 26, 2017.
[35] Carl Prine, “Border Door of Hope Might Slam Shut on Immigrant Family Reunions,” San Diego Union-Tribune Nov. 9, 2016. http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/immigration/sd-me-border-angels-20161118-story.html. Accessed July 26, 2017; Peggy Peattie, “Door of Hope Opens to Children,” San Diego Union Tribune. http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/visuals/photography/sdut-door-hope-opens-children-2016apr30-photogallery.html. Accessed July 26, 2017.


Michael Longinow is professor of journalism and integrated media in the Department of Media, Journalism and Public Relations at Biola University, where he advises the  award-winning weekly student newspaper, The Chimes, and its sister operation, Chimes Online. He is also co-lead of the department’s narrative media project. Longinow was a newspaper reporter in Illinois and Georgia before entering academia. He is a founding adviser member of the Association of Christian Collegiate Media, and serves as its national executive director. A  Ph.D. graduate of the University of Kentucky, Longinow holds a master’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a bachelor’s degree from Wheaton College.

Tamara Welter is associate professor and chair of the Department of Media, Journalism and Public Relations at Biola University and co-lead of the department’s narrative media project. Her students have produced a feature  magazine, The Point, each semester over the last 10 years, winning state and national awards for journalism excellence along the way. Welter brings a cross-cultural approach to her teaching by urging students to pursue their own ethnic journey as they learn the unique languages of storytelling among distinct people groups. Welter’s dissertation and continued research explore the power of visual language in cross-cultural encounters. Welter holds a Ph.D. from the Cook School of Intercultural Studies at Biola, a master’s degree from Regent University, and a bachelor’s degree from Evangel College.

 

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