Face-to-Face: Reporting from a Rain Forest

Course Overview

Face-to-Face: Reporting from a Rain Forest
Seminar Snapshot
Time Estimate:
One hour.

About Seminar Snapshots

A Seminar Snapshot features video highlights that capture the key learning of a seminar presentation.

Mellissa Fung’s documentary, shot in the Panamanian rain forest, required lots of hiking, a rough boat ride, and an unexpected night of camping—without a tent. “But you can’t just give up,” she tells students in this conversation about her report “The New Conquistadors.” She talks about the difficulty of getting in touch with sources, the way her team structured the story, and how she responded when the mining company they were reporting on followed them in a white van. Fung discusses her news consumption habits and shares what she wishes she had known early in her journalism career.

The journalist:

Mellissa Fung

Mellissa Fung specializes in long-form investigative reporting for the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (CBC). Her project “The New Conquistadors” is a 45-minute documentary that aired on the CBC in June 2012. The report focused on the effects on Panama of the expansion of mining there by Canadian companies. “Conquistadors” was produced in partnership with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. During her career at the CBC, Fung has reported on the Canadian military mission in Afghanistan, the Robert Pickton case, the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, and the 2002-03 SARS outbreak in China. Fung wrote “Under an Afghan Sky: A Memoir of Captivity” about her monthlong kidnapping in October 2008 in Afghanistan.

What Will I Learn:
  • An understanding of the deeper issues of foreign correspondence
  • Big-picture issues of journalism’s role at home and abroad, such as ethics and press freedom
  • How to address concerns about your own potential future as a foreign correspondent
Who should take this course:

High school and college students who are looking to expand their view on what it means to be a correspondent in a foreign country, as well as teachers who want to help students develop their news literacy skills.

Special Thanks:

Face-to-Face thanks the following: The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting for making this conversation with Mellissa Fung possible.

Students in the Master of Journalism (Investigative) program at the University of King’s College, Halifax, Nova Scotia for their research and lesson materials.

Training Partner:

Face-to-Face: Conversations with Journalists

Face-to-Face: Conversations with Journalists puts students in touch with journalists they'd never otherwise meet, learning about the immense power of reliable information—and the challenges of getting it. Each month during the academic year, a newsmaker will speak live to hundreds of students in a virtual conversation that includes five schools—from high schools to universities.

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