On Nov. 1, 2013, the Minnesota Journalism Center and the School of Journalism & Mass Communication welcomed 13 European journalists as part of the Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists.
Programming for the journalists focused around issues of immigration and social media, and drew on both the academic University of Minnesota community as well as Twin Cities media professionals.
On Friday, the Fellows, who hailed from Poland, Germany, Cyprus, Lithuania, Finland and more -- met with SJMC assistant professor Giovanna Dell'Orto to speak about her research on border immigration in the E.U and the U.S. Then, the group visited the Immigration History Research Center and toured its caverns of archives. To finish the day, the Fellows were paired with Twin Cities professionals --from Minnesota Public Radio, Twin Cities Public Television, MinnPost, the Star Tribune, KARE 11, as well as the Centers for Victims of Torture and the Federal Reserve -- for job shadowing. "I loved meeting the journalists," said Dhiraj Sabharwal from Luxembourg. "You get a lot of insights that way."
On Saturday, the group attend the Society of Professional Journalists' JournCamp, a daylong training for journalists that allowed the Fellows to meet with Twin Cities journalists.
Over the weekend, the group explored Twin Cities cultural opportunities -- including a Native American Pow-Wow, the Mall of America and a Minnesota Timberwolves game. "I didn't know much about Minneapolis before coming here, but I've found it's filled with arts and culture," said Johanna Vehkoo of Finland.
On Monday, the group was in Murphy Hall to meet with faculty and students. Assistant professors Shayla Thiel-Stern, Brendan Watson and Seth Lewis shared their research on changing news technologies and changing journalistic practices. Then, the Fellows visited with 150 students in Jour 1001: Introduction to Mass Communication, sharing their experiences of being journalists across European news organizations.
Monday also included a discussion with two Twin Cities media professionals who specialize in social media and web analytics: Christopher Spong, who has run Target's social media Twitter, Instagram and Vine channels and Mark Price, managing partner of M Squared Group.
Lastly, associate professor Amy Kristin Sanders shared her research on social media and the law. After leaving Murphy Hall, the Fellows had dinner with host families.
Their last day in Minneapolis was election day. The Fellows met with Minneapolis City Clerk Casey Carl, who explained ranked-choice voting and the intricacies of city elections. Then, the group received a tour of Minnesota Public Radio and met with managing director of regional news Chris Worthington, director of public insight journalism Linda Fantin and senior editor for visual news Regina McCombs. The last stop of their tour of the Twin Cities was a tour of the State Capitol.
Prior to their visit to Minneapolis, the Fellows were in Washington, D.C. to learn about the United States' media scene. Following their trip to the Twin Cities, the group then traveled to San Francisco for more local programming.
SJMC is among nine journalism schools across the country to participate in the program. Made possible through a partnership with the Minnesota International Center and the U.S. Department of State, the program has brought more than 1,000 foreign journalists to the U.S. since 2006.