American Indian Journalism Institute 2012

AIJI participants, Will Ferrell, and me. (Photo by Janine Harris)

Below are highlights of the work done by students who participated in the American Indian Journalism Institute in June. We worked long hours for 10 straight days, but it was fun. It was amazing to watch how quickly these energetic budding journalists took to creating video packages.

AIJI has been helping young people realize their dream of becoming journalists since 2001. The program offers a mix of theoretical and practical workshops, as well as real-world experience in newsrooms. It is underwritten by the Freedom Forum Diversity Institute.

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Oh, was there a game on?

Tonight, I celebrated my XLVIth Super Bowl Boycott. (You’d think a New Yorker who lives in Boston would get sucked into the game, but my disdain for the game is greater than my need to socialize and be a part of the conversation.)

I did, however, watch part of the half-time show. Madonna was brilliant. She continues to amaze me with her strength and agility. (Reminder to self: start lifting weights again.) I wasn’t too keen on her entrance. Men as slaves is hardly provocative. To me, a Goddess would have no need to subjugate. She should be of the people. But, OK, I get that it’s theatrics.

Tips on preparing for a foreign reporting assignment

The International Center For Journalism’s Claritza Jiménez interviewed me for a Q&A on how I prepared to report overseas for my ICFJ International Reporting Fellowship. It was published on, the International Journalists’ Network.

Here’s a screen grab of the first few grafs:

How did you identify a reporting topic?

CR: The reason I was interested in this topic goes back to the general issue of how people are marginalized in society and especially in the context of religion. I wrote my Master’s thesis on this subject and had just finished at Columbia University [Graduate School of Journalism] in 2010. So, this topic was still fresh in my mind and something I wanted to delve into a little bit more.

What was it like reporting overseas as a freelancer?

CR: I didn’t have an editor to crack the whip and just bounce ideas off of and to frame ideas. So, I relied on some friends, but they’re not getting paid and there’s only so much time you can take from them. So, that was tough. I didn’t have someone to talk to help develop the story.

 You can read the full Q&A here at IJNET.