University of Arizona School of Journalism Professor Maggy Zanger speaks to Afghan professors during the Afghan Education Enhancement Training Program in Istanbul, Turkey. The collaboration brought together 39 professors from four Afghan universities and three American university journalism programs. (Photograph by Kim Newton)
Kim Newton works with Nangarhar University Professor Afsar Sadiq Shinwari during the Afghan Education Enhancement Training Program in Istanbul, Turkey. Professor Shinwari will be one of two Nangarhar University professors coming to the University of Arizona for the fall semester. (Photograph by Maggy Zanger)
Two UA journalism professors are covering topics from weaving social media into class assignments to enhancing student media as part of a training session with Afghan journalism professors taking place in Istanbul, Turkey.
Professors Maggy Zanger and Kim Newton, along with trainers from Ball State University and San Jose State University, are working with 39 professors from four Afghan university journalism departments to enhance their programs with training in developing assignments that use social media and the web to teach journalism skills. The 12-day training also covers ethics, website design, student media and public relations, which is a new professional field for Afghanistan.
"This is our third and, unfortunately, final summer institute," said Zanger, who directs the UA partnership with Nangarhar University in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, which is supported with a $1 million grant by the US Embassy in Kabul. Earlier trainings were held in the United Arab Emirates and India to provide a safe place for both Americans and Afghans to work together and explore other cultures.
"Too often the view of Afghanistan and their people is associated with war. This program has provided a cross-cultural exchange with colleagues dedicated to educating the next generation," said Newton. "The experience has exposed the resilience of our Afghan colleagues to move their universities forward even through extreme adversity."
When the training ends August 12, two of the six professors from Nangarhar University will come to the UA for eight-weeks of continued training on campus. They will observe classes, visit local news media outlets and other journalism programs in Arizona and California. They will study English and work with Newton to develop their skills in photojournalism and multimedia production and with Professor Jeannine Relly on advanced reporting.
Hannah Gaber, a UA graduate student in journalism and Middle Eastern and North African Studies who is assisting with the partnership program, was also in Istanbul for a week to conduct interviews and gather video to make a short documentary about the UA Nangarhar University partnership.