|Live and learn|
In May, students on the spring 2010 Geneva Study Group got a rare peek behind the scenes of an international media organization when they visited Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) headquarters in Prague, Czech Republic.
The 17 students spent a day devoted to “hands-on” journalism, including a master class on the challenges of covering democracy and human rights issues with Russia Services Senior Correspondent Irina Lagunina, and a discussion with Akbar Ayazi, who oversees programming in Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, and Iraq.
“I learned a lot about Russia, and it was nice to learn about current events there and new developments that you wouldn’t see in a textbook,” wrote one student in his visit evaluation.
The visit was part of an extensive set of field trips in western and Central Europe, including to the Auschwitz extermination camp, meant to complete the coursework for International Institutions, the class taught by group leader Barry Shain, associate professor of political science.
The course explores the nature of international institutions, the underlying assumptions of those working in and supportive of them, and their role in shaping relations between states and other international entities. Students also examine the continuing repercussions of the Holocaust and communism in Central Europe.
Shain said he chose the day at RFE/RL because “it gives students a sense of how news not only is a reflection of world events, but is, in a way, created.”
Kathryn Esteves ’11 said she especially enjoyed sitting in on an editorial meeting because “it illustrated the steps taken to develop story ideas.” Mary Beth Spencer ’11 found the meeting “very informative and cool — it was nice to see the organization at work.”