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Morocco: Field Studies in Journalism and New Media

Morocco: Field Studies in Journalism and New Media

Advance your skills in journalism under the guidance of award-winning foreign correspondents. Learn from leading Moroccan scholars and experts in politics, art, freedom of the press, health, education, migration, human rights, women’s issues and much more.

This program provides you with an exciting opportunity to learn foreign reporting under the supervision of award-winning foreign correspondents and photojournalists. In partnership with journalists at the Peabody award-winning Round Earth Media, you will engage in ongoing reporting assignments in the media format in which you have the most experience — print, video, audio, photography, and/or multimedia. Via Round Earth’s groundbreaking partnership model, you will collaborate with Moroccan journalism students who speak English, working together to report a major feature story, which has the possibility of being placed in a US media outlet. 

Major topics of study include:

  • Identifying original stories, determining newsworthiness, and developing techniques for executing an original, well-researched feature of interest to a global audience
  • Finding sources, gaining their trust, and conducting interviews in an unfamiliar country and culture
  • Reporting in a manner that adheres to the highest standards of journalism
  • Producing an online magazine, Reporting Morocco, with opportunities to write articles, engage in social media, post news of the day, and work as photo editors — a great resume builder.
 

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Working with a Moroccan journalism partner has been a fantastic part of my experience: we have shared skills, contacts, and ideas, and have become friends in the process. Doing journalism in a foreign country is a challenge, but collaborating with another journalism student with invaluable insight, who can navigate the culture and language easily, has made our work fun and even more enlightening, especially since we are working on a controversial topic (female homosexuality). I feel so lucky to have gotten this opportunity through SIT!

Marie von Hafften, Whitman College

Democracy in our interconnected world needs a new generation of journalists trained to the highest standards of the profession. Morocco is an ideal setting for aspiring journalists who want to develop their skills and also for students who simply want to explore what it is to be a foreign correspondent in a globalized world.

This program is ideally suited to any student with excellent writing and/or multimedia skills, including journalism and communications majors but also students with strong liberal arts backgrounds.

Newstand in MoroccoLive and study in Morocco’s capital.

The program is based in Rabat. Most classes are held at the Center for Cross Cultural Learning — SIT’s in-country partner — located in a 19th-century Moorish-style riad in the city’s historic medina. The Center is situated near important cultural sites, including the 12th-century Kasbah Oudaya and the Ville Nouvelle, established by the French colonial administration in the early 1900s. Some program components take place at the Higher Institute of Information and Communication (ISIC), at the Mohammed V University campus.

The city’s newly built tramway has made transportation in the city smoother and more fluid, helping you more easily execute reporting assignments, as well as explore different neighborhoods, such as Madinat al Irfane, the university city. For much of your time in Rabat, you will live with a working- or middle-class Moroccan family.

Advance your journalism and intercultural communication skills.

The program is designed to help you better understand:

  • the main challenges affecting the practice of journalism in Morocco and North Africa;
  • the dominant issues in Moroccan society, such as youth culture and (un)employment, gender issues, identity and ethnicity, urban-rural divisions, mass and social media, religion, education and literacy, art, film, and music, and human rights;
  • the demands of news gathering in another culture, reporting/photojournalism that adheres to the highest standards of the profession, and techniques for executing an original, well-researched feature story of interest to a global audience; and
  • how Arabic or French (depending on the student’s course selection) functions in Moroccan culture.

group presenting their papers in MoroccoLearn from a diversity of in-country resources and partners.

Lecturers include experts from the following institutions:

  • Mary Stucky and other journalists affiliated with the Peabody award–winning Round Earth Media, based in the United States and dedicated to reporting untold international stories using teams of early career journalists. Mary Stucky and her team will introduce you to journalists working in Morocco, including reporters who cover Morocco for top-tier media outlets such as the Associated Press and The New York Times and high profile Moroccan journalists.
  • Higher Institute of Information and Communication, Morocco’s only public school for journalism. SIT students are partnered with journalism students at ISIC who speak English. Together they produce a major feature story.

fieldwork in MoroccoCraft an original, feature-length story for a global audience.

You will spend the majority of the semester finding, researching, and executing a story topic of your choosing under the expert guidance of journalists from Round Earth Media. Your feature may ultimately be considered for publication (in print, broadcast, or online) in US news outlets with which Round Earth Media works.

You might find specific stories for the Independent Study Project in Journalism within these sample topic areas:

  • Social change and youth movements
  • Morocco’s place within the Arab Spring
  • Women’s health issues in rural Morocco
  • Alternative energies and sustainable development
  • Music festivals as political statements
  • Global health issues
  • The attempts to save endangered species in Morocco
  • Issues of refugees and migrants in Morocco

Gain new competencies in Arabic or French.

Students take either Modern Standard Arabic (at the beginning or intermediate level), or French or Arabic (at the intermediate high or advanced level). Although Arabic is Morocco’s official language, French is primarily used in business and government settings.

Prerequisites:

Previous college-level coursework in writing, journalism, communications, and/or media studies, or other related fields. Strong writing skills and an interest in journalism are essential. A writing sample may be required as part of the admissions process.

Access virtual library guide.

This 15-week-long program consists of Contextual Studies in Journalism: Morocco and North Africa (4 credits), Field Ethics of Journalism in Morocco (3 credits), Independent Study Project in Journalism (6 credits), and language study (3 credits). The Contextual Studies course provides an intense introduction to vital aspects of Morocco and covers a wide range of topics via lectures from prominent academicians and subject-area experts. Students are expected to plumb these lectures for story ideas especially for the full-length feature that will be generated during the Independent Study.

Links to syllabi below are from current and forthcoming courses offered on this program. Because courses develop and change over time to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, actual course content will vary from term to term.

The syllabi can be useful for students, faculty, and study abroad offices in assessing credit transfer. Read more about credit transfer.

Contextual Studies in Journalism: Morocco and North Africa – syllabus
(JOUR 3000 / 4 credits / 60 class hours)
This interdisciplinary course combines lectures on journalism in the context of Morocco and North Africa and key issues of Moroccan society. Lecture topics from leading Moroccans in the artistic, social, and political realms including established academics include religious values, women’s issues, economy and migration, education and literacy, human rights, and artistic culture. The course covers the history of journalism in the region since Morocco’s independence (in 1956), the role that journalism and broadcast media play in the development of individual and public liberties and a democratic mode of governance, and the role of social media.

Field Ethics of Journalism in Morocco – syllabus
(JOUR 3500 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
This three-part course 1) introduces students to the intricacies of doing journalism in a Moroccan cultural context; 2) provides an overview of the Press Code unique to Morocco and the legal milieu in which Moroccan journalists practice; and 3) covers the ethics of conducting a journalistic assignment in a regional environment. Throughout the course, students learn techniques for accessing local resources, which will aid in gathering information for news and feature stories. Students produce an online magazine, Reporting Morocco, with opportunities to write articles, engage in social media, post news of the day, and work as photo editors.

Independent Study Project in Journalism – syllabus
(ISPJ 3000 / 6 credits / 180 class hours)
Students propose, research, and execute a full-length feature (in the media format of their choosing), which will be considered for publication or broadcast in a media outlet. Students have the rare opportunity to work alongside journalists from Round Earth Media, whose bylined pieces regularly appear in media outlets around the world. Round Earth Media professionals provide hands-on advice and mentoring at every stage of story development, sharing expertise gathered from years in challenging global reporting situations. Story topics are assessed based on originality, richness, and appeal to a broad global audience. Students learn what it means to organize a story, select sources, question deeply, work toward balance, be alert to bias (and clichés), respond to an editor’s feedback, check facts, rework and rewrite, strive for clarity, and achieve accessible, flowing prose along with, in many cases, images and sound.

Language Study — French or Arabic
Students may choose between Modern Standard Arabic for beginning or intermediate levels or, alternatively, French or Arabic for intermediate high or advanced levels. Students who enter the program with intermediate high or advanced skills in French or Arabic may be able to produce their Independent Study projects in French or Arabic.

Beginning Modern Standard Arabic – syllabus
(ARAB 1000–1500 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
Intermediate Modern Standard Arabic – syllabus
(ARAB 2000–2500 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
Advanced Modern Standard Arabic – syllabus
(ARAB 3000–3500 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
The Arabic courses are designed to prepare students to engage in everyday communication. They integrate reading, writing, listening, grammar, vocabulary, and conversation. Students with prior study in Arabic will notice the use of Modern Standard Arabic throughout the media. Homestays, field excursions, and everyday interactions assist in language acquisition.

French for Media and Communications: Intermediate High – syllabus
(FREN 2500 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
French for Media and Communications: Advanced – syllabus
(FREN 3000–3500 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
These courses aim to enhance students’ skills in French, with emphasis on written and spoken competency. The courses combine communicative exercises, comprehension, presentations, and debates with grammar learning, translation, and composition. The focus is on the French lexicon used in the fields of journalism, media, and communications.

Browse this program's Independent Study Projects / undergraduate research.

Please note that in order to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, program excursions may occasionally vary.

learning guembri in MoroccoImperial Excursion: Meknes, Fes, Marrakech, and Beyond

A six-day excursion will take you through the imperial cities of Meknes and Fes before going southeast to Errachidia, Rissani, and Merzouga. You will also spend time in Ouerzazate, the High Atlas Mountains, and Marrakech. It’s a remarkable journey that encompasses the beach, the mountains and the desert — with a lot in between. You will visit NGOs and local associations and learn about the everyday challenges individuals face in the outer regions of Morocco. The excursion will give you an excellent opportunity to identify potential stories for the Independent Study Project in Journalism. Highlights of the imperial excursion include the chance to experience the magnificent Moroccan desert.

Rural Morocco

You will have the chance to compare and contrast rural and urban lifestyles while spending a week in a rural village. During this period, you might become interested in stories, such as girls’ education, dreams of migration, the importance of water, and needs related to key infrastructure such as hospitals and markets. You will enjoy and participate in every aspect of village life, becoming close to the families with whom you are staying. Many students say their time in this beautiful place with welcoming people goes much too quickly.

This program is directed by Mary Stucky, an award-winning veteran journalist from the US who is also president of Round Earth Media, the Peabody Award–winning journalism partnership that supports the next generation of global journalists to produce powerful multimedia stories on important underreported issues. You will work in collaboration with journalists from Morocco, Round Earth Media, and via unique coursework designed by acclaimed journalism educators at the US-based Poynter Institute. This is a rare opportunity to be mentored and educated by some of the world’s very best professional journalists. Instruction will be supplemented by a hand-picked team of scholars that will include university professors, researchers, NGO leaders, and subject-area experts from Morocco. 

Mary StuckyMary Stucky

A founder of Round Earth Media, Mary Stucky is the company’s lead journalist and its president. She has broad media experience as a long-time contributor to public and commercial radio and television, notably, National Public Radio, Public Radio International and America Public Media (e.g., Marketplace, The World, All Things Considered), CBS Radio, FRONTLINE/World, NBC-TV and ABC-TV affiliates, Telemundo, and Univision. Stucky covers social and cultural issues, foreign affairs, public policy, the environment, and immigration, with a focus on underreported issues in neglected regions of the world.
 
Her reports on Chinese and Hmong immigrants were part of the documentary series “Crossing East,” which won a 2006 Peabody Award, broadcasting’s highest honor. Her reporting awards also include the New York Festival’s Gold World Medal. Prior to founding Round Earth Media, Stucky was a reporter/anchor for the NBC-TV affiliate in Minneapolis. She is a graduate of Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. Mary Stucky started the Field Studies in Journalism and New Media program in spring 2012.

Abdelhay Moudden, PhD, Senior Advisor

Dr. Abdelhay Moudden earned his PhD in political science from the University of Michigan and has been a professor of political science and international relations at Mohammed V University in Rabat since 1978. He was been the academic director of the SIT Study Abroad Multiculturalism and Human Rights Morocco program from 1992 to 2013. In 1995, Dr. Moudden founded the Center for Cross Cultural Learning and since that time has served as the center’s academic director. In 2013, he was appointed senior advisor to SIT programs in Morocco. Dr. Moudden is a member of the Consultative Council on Human Rights and a former member of the Moroccan Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2004–2005). He has published several articles on Moroccan politics and culture and two novels, the latest of which, The Farewell Sermon, won the Morocco book award for 2004.

Khadija Zizi, PhD, Academic Coordinator

Khadija Zizi is senior professor of English for journalistic purposes at the Institut Supérieur de l’Information et de la Communication in Rabat, Morocco. She holds a PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and was a Fulbright visiting scholar at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her teaching career, in the US and in Morocco, spans over 25 years. Her research interests include gender, the media, linguistics, cross-cultural communication, and translation.

In 1991, Khadija Zizi was elected president of the Moroccan Association of Teachers of English. She is the founder of her school’s magazine, ISIClick, and is an associate editor of the fourth volume of Women Writing Africa (2009).

She enjoys traveling, writing poetry, and painting, and her artwork has been exhibited in national and international art shows.

You will experience everyday life in Morocco and improve language skills by living with local host families. The program’s two very different homestay experiences — in Rabat and a small village — reveal the enormous contrast between life in urban and rural Morocco.

homestay in RabatRabat homestay

You will live with local families in Rabat’s 17th-century medina for eight weeks. Accompanied by your host family, you may shop in the souk, visit local cafés, and take bread to the neighborhood faran (local bakery). You may also visit the hammam (Moroccan public bath). Homestays provide an opportunity to participate in family events such as weddings, newborn naming ceremonies, and community soccer matches.

The homestay in Rabat is coordinated by the program's host institution, the Center for Cross Cultural Learning, which has been working with Moroccan homestay families for more than a decade.

Village homestay

You will live with Moroccan families in an inland village near Oulmes for four days. During the time in the village, you will meet in discussion groups with rural youth to debate such topics as education, employment, and prospects for the future. As you experience Moroccan daily life far from the coast, you will acquire a stronger sense of rural gender dynamics, as well as many of the development challenges faced by rural Moroccan communities.

Visit the program’s blog to learn more about the rural homestay through the words and photos of alumni.

Other accommodations during the program could include hostels or small hotels.

Program Dates: Spring 2016

Program Start Date:  Jan 31, 2016

Program End Date:    May 14, 2016

The dates listed above are subject to change. Please note that travel to and from the program site may span a period of more than one day.

Student applications to this program will be reviewed on a rolling basis between the opening date and the deadline.

Application Deadline:   Nov 1, 2015

 

SIT Pell Grant Match Award. SIT Study Abroad provides matching grants to all students receiving Federal Pell Grant funding; this award can be applied to any SIT semester program. View all SIT Study Abroad scholarships.

Tuition: $15,015

The tuition fee covers the following program components:

  • Cost of all lecturers who provide instruction to students in:
    • Journalism in context
    • Cultural representation in Morocco
  • Field Ethics of Journalism in Morocco course
  • Intensive language instruction in Arabic or French
  • All educational excursions to locations such as the cities of Meknes, Fes, Errachidia, Rissani, Merzouga, Ouerzazate, the High Atlas Mountains, and Marrakech, including all related travel costs
  • Independent Study Project in Journalism (including a stipend for accommodation and food)
  • Health insurance throughout the entire program period

Room & Board:$2,960

The room and board fee covers the following program components:

  • All accommodations during the entire program period. This includes during orientation, time in the program base (Rabat), on all planned educational excursions, during the Independent Study Project, and during the final evaluation period. Accommodation is covered either by SIT Study Abroad directly, through a stipend provided to each student, or through the homestay.
  • All homestays (eight weeks in Rabat and four days in a rural village).
  • All meals for the entire program period. Meals are covered either by SIT Study Abroad directly, through a stipend, or through the homestay.

Estimated Additional Costs:

International Airfare to Program Launch Site

International airline pricing can vary greatly due to the volatility of airline industry pricing, flight availability, and specific flexibility/restrictions on the type of ticket purchased. Students may choose to take advantage of frequent flyer or other airline awards available to them, which could significantly lower their travel costs.

Visa Expenses: Not yet available.

Immunizations: Varies

Books & Supplies: $120

International Phone: Each student must have a phone in each country. Cost varies according to personal preferences, phone plans, data plans, etc.

Discretionary Expenses

Personal expenses during the program vary based on individual spending habits and budgets. While all meals and accommodations are covered in the room and board fee, incidentals and personal transportation costs differ depending on the non-program-related interests and pursuits of each student. To learn more about personal budgeting, we recommend speaking with alumni who participated in a program in your region. See a full list of our alumni contacts. Please note that free time to pursue non-program-related activities is limited.

Please Note: Fees and additional expenses are based on all known circumstances at the time of calculation. Due to the unique nature of our programs and the economics of host countries, SIT reserves the right to change its fees or additional expenses without notice.

 

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