Student work moves beyond the classroom

Charles Lewis responds to Grace Temple, a University of Mississippi student interviewing him about the state of journalism today. (Willard West/IRW)

By Lynne Perri


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Master’s student Courtney Rozen looked into efforts by U.S. travel agencies and major cities to attract Chinese tourists for her semester-long assignment in an international-investigative class with Charles Lewis, IRW’s executive editor and a full professor at American University.

Over the course of three months, she ended up focusing on the District of Columbia, where she found that Chinese tourism was a priority for the city as well as area hotels and businesses. Her research turned into a draft that she then pitched to the DCist, which recently published “An Inside Look at the Effort to Lure Chinese Tourists.”

Reporting continues for a new Frontline program on China trade wars

NPR’s Laura Sullivan sets up for interviews in Washington for a new program on the trade war with China. (Sommer Brugal/IRW)

What will become of American businesses in China and at home as a result of the trade dispute?

That’s one of the questions the next FRONTLINE program will tackle. The production, a collaboration between FRONTLINE and NPR and in association with IRW, led graduate student Sommer Brugal to work as a production assistant on set for interviews with key experts in Washington.

The program is expected to air in late April, with NPR’s Laura Sullivan as the correspondent. Rick Young, writer-producer, Emma Schwartz and Fritz Kramer, co-producers, and researcher Emily Crawford — a FRONTLINE-IRW post-graduate fellow — are all working on the story, and Sullivan, Young and Schwartz recently traveled to China for interviews there.

Students interview Lewis

Students from the University of Mississippi recently talked to IRW’s Charles Lewis about journalism today, including the public’s trust in news and the problem of “fake news,” as part of an honors project that brought them to Washington.

Students from the University of Mississippi, from left, Emma Lane, Grace Temple, Charli Kendricks, Steph Gardiner and Leah Ladner recorded their interview with IRW’s Charles Lewis in the McKinley Building at American University. (Photo by Willard West/IRW)