Internships with KosovaLive I - A Rare Opportunity To See a Country Being Born: Video Transcript

Ed Arnone [Director for the Project on Media Democracy and Civic Life]: Well, the idea in starting this course was to give students an experience that was a little fuller and deeper and more nuanced not just in journalism but in understanding day-to-day life in a country such as Kosova where they are creating a new country. It's a rare opportunity to see a country being born and, for students in journalism and a lot of other disciplines, the chance to see that, get to know people and tell the story of people who are trying to create a new way of life is something you don't get very often.

KosovaLive publishes every day, all of its stories in English and Albanian. So students write in English, and I serve as their primary editor and then they get the opportunity to work with the editors and reporters at KosovaLive to improve their stories and get it ready. And those are published online and they go throughout the region to other news media and other subscribers of KosovaLive and then, often, around the world.

So, it is a great experience for students to write with two things in mind: What would the readers and the viewers of KosovaLive want to know? What's immediate and important to them? And, then, also the English-speaking readers around the world: What do they want to know and how should stories be written to reach their main concerns? And I don't think very often students get that kind of experience in an internship, so it's special in that way.

The idea of the advanced reporting, the enterprise reporting course that they have, is to develop their thinking as journalists and really getting at what's important to people and the best way to tell stories about what's important to people is to focus on the human beings who are living it. So, the way we work with KosovaLive is that, most of the things that are going on in the news, we develop story lists that focus on the humanity and how people are coping with or making progress on a long list of difficult issues in their country.

And, when you tell those stories through people, when you put faces and real emotions on those stories, then you breathe life into it. You animate those stories. And those are the kinds of stories that people really want to read. So, it serves a couple of purposes: the main one being to help students understand that that's the best kind of journalism to do.

[September 2010]