Foreign Correspondent

RMIT Lecturer Tito Ambyo talks about his online collaboration with journalism students from The Hague University of Applied Science including how he overcame some of the challenges involved with a COIL collaboration.

“The ‘Foreign Correspondent’ COIL collaboration is designed to give students the skills and experience to tell a story about their country to an audience in another place. Students from Australia, Indonesia and The Netherlands are paired up with the objective of finding a story from their own country that will be interesting for an audience in another country. This forces the students to think as a global citizen; something that is widely reported in their own country is not necessarily something that is interesting for an audience in another country. They have to use their research, interviewing and other relevant journalism skills to pitch a story to each other, collaborate to decide an angle for the story, write five interview questions that support the telling of the story, and then they have to take turns interviewing each other as if they were foreign correspondents. The interviews must be recorded and then shared with the rest of the group. A corollary result of being involved in the project is that the students are empowered to actively use readily-available media technologies (Skype, Facebook, Emails) to produce international stories.

The hope is that some of these students will then keep on collaborating and sharing; the next time something happens in those three countries, they will already have people they can call to find out more. A few of the students have continued to build friendships through doing the project. “

Tito teaches Journalism Technologies for the Bachelor of Communication (Journalism) program at RMIT University. His work is informed by a larger study of Anthropology with an interest in Indonesian culture with a focus on digital storytelling. He observes new practices of journalism in a global context. A recent project of Tito’s with his journalism students is called Fact-Check your Mum, where students have to find a story from their family history, demonstrating fact checking skills, and presenting the story in an engaging way with journalistic integrity.