Young people who read news do it online. Facebook is extremely
popular for sharing news. Journalism students have fewer job opportunities and
earn less money than their communications department counterparts who go into
public relations. Yet journalism is an increasingly popular major.
|From left, University at Albany biology professor John Schmidt,|
UAlbany Journalism Director Nancy Roberts, and
Moez Ben Messaoud, head of the Communications Department
of Tunisia's Press and Information Sciences Institute.
Yes, Tunisia. Just like here.
I learned this tonight over curried chicken and vegetable
samosa in the Saratoga Springs backyard of University at Albany Journalism
Program Director Nancy L. Roberts, who was hosting an informal get-together
with three colleagues visiting from Tunisia and journalism instructors at UAlbany,
where I teach a reporting class one night a week.
Moez Ben Messaoud, head of the communications department of Tunisia’s
Press and Information Sciences Institute, and I had lots of questions for each
other about journalism students and programs and more. He is here with Taoufik
Yacoub, who runs the institute, and Hamida El Bour, head of its journalism
UAlbany journalism professor Thomas Bass obtained a grant
with which the department is helping to create a master’s journalism program at
the Tunisian university, which has about 800 media students. The three visitors
were guests earlier today at the Times Union, and in the next few days will be
at the New York Times and the Washington Post.
Tunisia, with a population of about 10 million, is the
smallest country in Northern Africa. If Italy’s boot kicked Sicily, it would
skip over the Mediterranean Sea and hit Tunisia in the nose. The revolutionary uprisings
known as the Arab Spring that began in December 2010 originated in Tunisia. It
is, to oversimplify, a struggling young democracy – a place ripe for eager,