By Anne Dudley
Eighteen communication students and three professors from Kent State University spent 10 days of March in Delhi, India reporting on culture, environment, the economy and more for DatelineDelhi.org, a multimedia news website and product of the International Storytelling course. The site officially launched on Monday, April 30 showcasing student photography, video and feature stories from India.
The School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Kent State partnered with Amity University School of Communication in Noida, India for the project. Amity provided students and faculty for collaborative reporting, guidance around the city, and for most of the group, lasting friendships. The Kent students stayed in on-campus housing and even set up a newsroom in the School of Communication’s facilities.
This is the second International Storytelling course that professors Gary Hanson, of Ravenna, and Mitch McKenney, of Hartville, have led. Last year, the team produced Dateline Shanghai with Shanghai International Studies University. LuEtt Hanson, Ph.D., the associate dean in the College of Communication and Information, accompanied the group and secured relationships with Amity leaders for future academic exchanges. Amity students will visit Kent State for 10 days in September as part of the partnership and collaborative learning experience.
Teams of students gathered images, video, audio for news and feature stories from the Delhi area, taking in the sights and sounds of the capital city and its people. Some rode elephants and visited orphanages and hospitals, while others ventured into the slums, construction sites and the local YMCA. While in India, the group traveled to the Taj Mahal, a beach resort in the state of Goa and to Mumbai.
The course met for 10 weeks prior to leaving for India, using the time to report on Indian culture in Northeast Ohio as a practice run with multimedia journalism in teams. After returning to Ohio students spent the remaining course time preparing their stories for the website debut.
Senior visual communications design major and participant Laura Contrucci, said, “traveling to India was absolutely incredible, for many reasons. The things I saw, good and bad, were eye-opening and led to reflection and growth. I feel so lucky to have been given the opportunity; it is truly something I will remember fondly for the rest of my life.”
“Being able to go to India at this point in my life really changed the way I view everything,” junior communication studies major Meghan Hawsman said. “I am still at a point in my life that I am very impressionable and going to India has changed me for the better. I am now able to look at situations from a different point of view and not take anything for granted. This is a beautiful place that I believe everyone should have the opportunity to visit in their lifetime.”