The Texas State Global News Team is an immersive study abroad program that embeds mass communication students with international service learning teams.
In January 2016, the Global News Team deployed for the first time with six journalism and public relations students under the direction of one faculty member to embed with 28 Texas State nursing students and faculty in Nicaragua. The storytellers spent two weeks with the nursing students and produced more than 50 pieces of multimedia content, which they published on the Global News Team’s website and social media platforms.
The Global News Team gives students the hands-on learning opportunity that is not possible in the classroom.
Before producing content, students have the opportunity to build and maintain their audience on social media platforms. While embedded, team members provide daily videos, photo updates, students’ profiles and blog posts on the team’s Facebook page. They learn how to monitor the website and social media analytics and how to pivot content to meet the consumer’s needs. These are relevant tools they need to be fluent in to prepare themselves for the digital media job market.
They learn how to conceptualize long-form stories and media kits, and how to work gracefully within a small community of people and a restricted network of sources.
Their experience teaches them how to innovate the way they present repetitive news. They experiment with varying photo angles and lighting, time lapse video and photo filters.
They learn how to discern newsworthiness. They acclimate to interviewing sources through a translator, and they adapt to various interview locations such as interviewing sources in cars, on the bus, at the dinner table, at a church, or in a school.
The Global News Team will return to Nicaragua with the nursing students in January 2017. The Global News Team will make their initial trip to South Africa in summer 2017.