Wednesday, November 27, 2013

STUDY & PRACTICE Digital Multimedia and Photo Design while helping train African storytellers, researchers and citizen journalists in Africa and throughout the African Diaspora with Professor Robert L. Jones, II whose image work has been published and broadcast extensively by Paris Match, GEO Magazine, National Geographic, PBS-TV, CBS, ABC, NBC, LIFE Magazine, TIME, Chicago Tribune, New York Times, Cox Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Washington Post and Suddeutsche Zeitung

You will learn techniques that will enable you to REACH YOUR FULL POTENTIAL as a multidisciplinary visual communicator by working on actual development projects.

Goals and Objectives

To provide photography, online storytelling, graphics and visual communication students with the skills and opportunities to produce high quality feature stories, images and layout designs that will illustrate articles and stories that will be assigned.

This field study program explores new roles mobile and converged media can play in the attainment of African goals for good governance, distance learning, balanced news reporting, business development, science, public health and tourism.

Participants will:
  • Engage international NGOs, university students, journalism professionals, media organizations, government offices, African business leaders, local villagers and urban residents to produce multimedia projects in response to specific developmental media needs like climate adaptation.
  • Develop skills through practical engagement in visual ethnographic journalism, public affairs reporting, long form media, creative photography, publication design and other activities that reflect the core values of the ethical practice of journalism and mass communication in an open society.
  • Transfer media production knowledge by assisting with the participatory multimedia training courses requested by villages attached to the JK Nyerere Center for Good Governance and Media Studies at the Open University of Tanzania.
  • Critically analyze local news reporting practices and their impact within the context of accurate, inclusive and balanced news reporting in specific African societies.
  • Develop and apply effective multimedia solutions to local knowledge and accessibility problems.

Academic and Professional Qualifications of Your Chief Instructor

Since 2004, Robert Jones has been Distinguished Professor of Visual Communication Practice at the American University in Cairo, School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, Department of Journalism and Mass Communications. In 1994, he began the OnLine Africa Project that continues to provide media skills training to assist African universities and researchers who want to utilize multimedia to enable African people to tell their own stories, support development projects and create jobs as a result.  He earned the BA in Photography and Film with Highest Honors from Ohio University and the MS in Television and Film from Syracuse University where he taught filmmaking. He was awarded the Syracuse University Communication Research Fellowship for his work developing alternatives to conventional film production and distribution in developing countries. His still active professional career spans more than 30 years. 

REGISTER TODAY with your university for 2014 academic credit as you engage in Participatory Experiential Learning in the African World. Course locations under consideration include East Africa (Ethiopia and/or Tanzania), Ghana, Germany and the Caribbean according to the wishes of early registrants. We are looking forward to exploring, photographing and studying these amazing locations with you. Don't miss out....register as soon as you decide where and when you'd like to join us.


Students will acquire advanced visual communication skills that will enable them to:
  • Work in cross-cultural teams (writers-researchers-reporters-photographers) to produce professional quality stories using text, audio, still and moving images;
  • Recognize and demonstrate the importance of critical observation and attention to details when constructing visual information for printed, broadcast and on-line media;
  • Recognize the importance of preserving the subject’s “right to privacy” without compromising “the public’s need to know”;
  • Discuss and debate ethical issues that emerge in visual communication;
  • Create effective picture stories (print and digital), artistic images, feature photographs, technical and commercial photography;
  • Recognize the importance of visual social semiotics, the cultural significance of signs;
  • Capture compelling and engaging images of people, landscapes, events and wildlife by using effective lighting and camera techniques;
  • Manage the logistics and work flow of multimedia components of the "Multipedia of the African World", a publication consisting of digital stories about various cultures.

Multi cultural learning outcomes

In our increasingly diverse and global society, this course will help students understand the complexities of various cultures; their differences and similarities and how multi-modal communication can provide comprehensive learning and earning opportunities by creating new paradigms for social change and development.

Students will engage in substantive writing and photography assignments and will be immersed in learning spaces that will strengthen multicultural competencies that facilitate engagement with people who are different from them. Such interactions are equally as enriching as the writing and photographic experiences.

Participants will develop greater appreciation and understanding of visual social semiotics.
Assessment will be based on the quality of the multimedia content produced by students. The work will be evaluated in three areas: technical proficiency, aesthetics and communicative value. The ultimate assessment will be made according to how well each written, spoken and visual product achieves its intended goals and objectives. As news writing and reporting is a deadline focused environment, student assessment will also be based upon their ability to generate a timely product or performance. Portfolios and projects must present clear and convincing evidence that the student has mastered the knowledge and skills associated with effective use of convergent media.

Learning Environment: EAST AFRICA

Tanzania is the largest of three East African countries which include Kenya and Uganda. The country has a spectacular landscape of mainly three physiographic regions namely the Islands and the coastal plains to the east; the inland saucer-shaped plateau; and the highlands. Tanzania is highly regarded for its peaceful history and natural beauty.

The Great Rift Valley that runs from north east of Africa through central Tanzania is another landmark that adds to the scenic beauty of the country. The Rift Valley continues south of Tanzania and includes conservation sites for the country’s mountain gorilla population. The valley is dotted with unique lakes which include Lakes Rukwa, Tanganyika, Nyasa, Kitangiri, Eyasi and Manyara. 

The highlands include Mount Meru, Mount Kilimanjaro, the Ngorongoro Crater and the Olduvai Gorge (The Cradle of Mankind) where important excavations have yielded human fossil remains that are among the oldest ever found. 

The Tanzanian coast has an extensive and rich heritage that goes back thousands of years. As a result, there are many cultures and archaeological ruins to explore.

Egypt Production Unit #1, Cairo 2008

Shooting Pearson PSA (Tanzania)