Face-to-Face: Lessons of an International Backpack Journalist

Course Overview

Face-to-Face: Lessons of an International Backpack Journalist
Seminar Snapshot
Time Estimate:
One hour

About Seminar Snapshots

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

See international backpack journalism in action. Learn how 22-year-old Alex Pena files stories for major news organizations as a freelance foreign correspondent. In this conversation, Pena shares how he maneuvers around places such as East Africa, South Sudan, Haiti and Mexico covering culture, politics and conflict.

In addition to the replay of the live "Face-to-Face" conversation on Feb. 27, 2012, this Seminar Snapshot includes teaching resources designed to help students develop their news literacy skills. These include lesson plans and activities, a quiz and group discussion questions.

The journalist:

Alex Pena, freelance foreign corespondent

Alex Pena works as a freelance foreign correspondent based in East Africa and lives in Nairobi, Kenya. He has covered tribal clashes in the world's newest country, South Sudan, for ABC News. He also has filed stories on the conflict in South Sudan for CNN.com. While in college, Pena reported on the drug wars in Juarez, Mexico, the earthquake in Haiti, and also spent a summer interning at NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. He was also chosen to participate in a study tour of Japan as a winner of the Roy W. Howard Reporting Competition. He plans to continue pursuing stories in East Africa, with the ultimate goal of becoming a correspondent for a major U.S. news network. Pena is a December 2011 graduate of the new Journalism B.A. program at Florida Gulf Coast University.

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
  • Concerns about your own potential future as a foreign correspondent

This Seminar Snapshot also includes resources for teachers to use in the classroom.

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.

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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