1st September 2018
I arrived in Prague – Czech Republic, ready to embark on a 2-weeks journalism programme at Charles University. I had never been to Prague prior to this nor had I spent so long outside of the country on my own, so I initially felt daunted by the experience. The airport was an hour and a half from the university accommodation, but the public transport [with the help of google] made the journey much smoother than expected.
After the registration and meeting other people on the course. The first thing I ticked off my list was to head to Prague 1 – the city centre. Home to popular tourist sites like the Charles Bridge and the astronomical clock [which was unfortunately covered to be fixed]. So after months of anticipation, I was finally in Prague.
Over the 2 weeks, I made amazing friends, whom I continue to interact with. We formed a tight friendship laced with dinners, study sessions at ‘Global’ [a bookstore/pub/restaurant – a great find], 3 karaoke trips to ‘Berlin’ and late nights out. I found myself surrounded by encouraging and pleasant group of people, from all over the world, that were just as eager as I was to learn.
On the Course.
The course was on Journalism but it focused on a modern branch of it – ‘Cross-platform foreign correspondent’.
Journalism is storytelling, it can require one to show a balance between informing and entertaining. The ‘entertainment’ aspect is especially true in this new age of technology. The new age that has allowed for different ways that an individual can participate in the production, consumption and sharing of a story. It is up to the journalist to remediate hers/himself to this new age standard, in the hopes of optimising the amount of access the story gets.
This is why understanding and utilising the ‘cross-platform’ is essential in the new age. The summer school exposed me to the different modes of producing journalistic work: articles, video report and photo-story. All of these modes allowed the practice of writing, video editing, interviewing and research skills. I was also able to explore the effectiveness of social media and broadening one’s audiences.
All of the students at the summer school were not native to the Czech Republic, but were tasked with reporting on local news within the country or the capital, we were essentially acting foreign correspondents. My group reported on the Czech Republic’s LGBTQ+ community. We had to research on the country and then the social issues within it. Fortunately, each group had the help of tutors as well as native students that could help us, so we always had guidance. My favourite piece we worked on was the video. Took a lot of hours to record, interview and edit but it paid off as an interesting add to my portfolio. [Link below]
The course certainly gave a huge insight into Journalism, especially for me, studying Philosophy and English – it gave me a more concrete information on what I could expect when pursuing the career. If you’re in a similar boat, I’d recommend the school but just be prepared to work hard and make the most of the learning experience.
Just 2 weeks at Charles University in Czech Republic has managed to diversify my perspectives, broaden my mind and created a circle of close friendships. Even weeks after the school’s end, it stays with me as this pleasant nostalgia that I wish to revisit.