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FAMU Students will Join Students from Shantou University to Cover the World Cup in South Africa

May 28, 2010

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Six Florida A&M University (FAMU) journalism and graphic communication students will join students from Shantou University in Guangdong Province, China in Johannesburg, Africa where they will produce daily multimedia stories about the 2010 FIFA World Cup of Soccer and its impact on life in South Africa.

“I’m pretty sure what we’re doing is unprecedented for a journalism program at a historically black university,” said Joe Ritchie, the Knight Chair in journalism at FAMU. “Few journalism students anywhere get to do a foreign reporting internship of any kind and to be at one of the biggest events on the planet is a huge deal.”

The students will be responsible for posting stories with video, audio and text as well as blogs, photo galleries and podcasts covering a range of topics related to the World Cup as well as to general social, economic and political issues about South Africa. Individuals can view their daily reports at http://www.famustu.net.

The six FAMU students are as follows:

  • Rachel Gadson from Chicago, Ill., has had previous international experience as a graphic design intern with a company in Florence, Italy. Gadson is the team’s webmaster;
  • Aaron Lancaster is a first-year student from Bowie, Md., who plans to major in broadcast journalism. Lancaster has traveled to Nanjing, China, as part of a Johns Hopkins University program for talented and gifted youth;
  • Wandoo Makurdi has completed her first year in the FAMU master’s degree program and is a naturalized citizen originally from Nigeria;
  • Clarence Polke is a first-year student from Gainesville, Fla. who has served as deputy sports editor and deputy news editor for The Famuan. Polke was named the paper’s “Rookie of the Year;”
  • Anamarie Shreeves is a senior magazine production student and was the online editor for Journey magazine; and
  • Kristen Swilley is a first-year broadcast journalism student from Douglasville, Ga. Swilley was news editor for The Famuan this past spring semester.

Ritchie made the connection with Shantou University while on a sabbatical leave in Asia a year ago. He helped arrange a semester abroad there this spring for another FAMU journalism student, Caryn Wilson, a senior from Charlotte, N.C. Wilson will be the upcoming editor-in-chief for The Famuan this fall.

“Shantou is an amazing place,” Ritchie said. “They teach many courses in English and have an amazing faculty which includes internationally known veteran journalists such as Peter Arnett, a former CNN correspondent, and Peter Herford, who was with CBS for years and worked closely with Walter Cronkite.”

Ritchie said he sees the project as an amazing opportunity for the FAMU students.

“This an opportunity for the students to broaden their global perspectives while getting major experience in the news-gathering techniques of the 21st century.”
This year is the first time that an African country has hosted the World Cup, which is scheduled from June 11 to July 11.

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