"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding metaphors and journalism and art, for readers in 150 countries.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Turning the world upside down, questions on media

One of the joys of teaching upper level students is being able cause them to think, to be aware of the differences in the world, by asking questions centered around what we used to call "current events." So it is with my International Media class, where 24 students have to adopt a country and present to the rest of the class how its media reflects the culture and government.
Before then we concentrate on how press systems differ, and the only textbook is the New York Times, which we get free every day. It's full of items that show the interaction of media and every day international life.
This map of the world turned "upside down," (which is ridiculous since there is no up or down in space, but only how we're trained to look at it) formed questions for discussions about Eurocentric, ethnocentric, xenophobic," etc. last week. 
I've created a blog for the class, Clarkinternational where assignments are made, and students respond. Tomorrow's assignments  are all questions about two events--the U.S. security leaks, and the Syria crisis.
One post is "Authoritarian government in the U.S? and it asks this question: "Why is this American journalist, Barrett Brown,  in jail? Jailed Texas journalist Is it justified? Does this make the U.S. government authoritarian in spite of the First Amendment? Comment today."
The other post, "Syria and international media"  asks three questions: Find two sources today about the impact of international media on the crisis in Syria, and post below.  Why is President Obama using TV?TV and foreign policy . Why are journalists being kidnapped in Syria? Kidnapped journalists .
By the way, I think you'd be interested in some of the countries we'll hear presentations on, in addition to all the English-speaking countries, there will be Japan, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Mozambique, Bhutan, Kenya, and others.
Oh, I give in to old-fashioned learning too. Students have to identify most of the countries in the world, continent by content, on blank maps I give them. It's called "geography." We can't have "globalization," if we don't know where England is.
So what do you think?

1 comment:

  1. I love your map. Changes and Challenges one's perspective of things.

    ReplyDelete