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Scholars from 16 countries attend SUSI on Journalism, Media at Ohio University

Claire Berlin | Aug 17, 2017

The 2017 SUSI scholars pose for a photo at the Welcome Dinner at the start of the program in July 2017. / Photo provided by Ohio University Institute for International Journalism

Scholars from 16 countries attend SUSI on Journalism, Media at Ohio University

By Claire Berlin

ATHENS, Ohio (August 17, 2017)—The Institute for International Journalism (IIJ) in Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism is hosting the Study of the U.S. Institute (SUSI) on Journalism and Media program from July 6 to August 18. The program brings together 16 journalism and media scholars from 16 different countries to foster a deeper understanding of the roles that journalism and the media play in the U.S. society. This is the eighth consecutive year that the program has been hosted at Ohio University.

“One of the most valuable things this program brings to journalism education globally is the first hand understanding of peoples from around the world,” said Mary Rogus, the SUSI academic director and an associate professor in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. “So much of what we know about other countries comes from media and our political leaders/governments. The SUSI scholars get to know Americans, separate from our government, and likewise they get to know their fellow scholars separate from their governments and definitions of political enemies or allies. They take that knowledge back to their classrooms and future journalists in their countries, which we hope leads to a more open-minded approach to reporting in their countries about America and their fellow scholars’ countries.”

The SUSI summer institute hosts scholars from all over the world who come to the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University to study journalism and media at the annual summer institute. The SUSI is funded by an annual renewable grant from the U.S. Department of States Study of the U.S. Branch in the Office of Academic Exchange Programs.

This year, countries represented include China, Lebanon, Austria, India, New Zealand, Brazil, Czech Republic, Egypt, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, Mozambique, Hungary, Chile, Bangladesh, Philippines and Honduras.

Through role-playing and other application methods taught during the SUSI training sessions Dr. Rasha El-Ibiary, who teaches at the Future University in Egypt, has found ideas and teaching methods that she hopes to be able to use when she returns home.

“I actually learned a lot of things and the most important thing that I learned is that students have to be engaged more in the classroom and part of the training we get is not actually the content of the training as much as how we are trained,” said El-Ibiary.

The SUSI on Journalism and Media had four countries attending for the first time in 2017, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, Hungary and Austria. In the eight years of the OHIO program SUSI scholars have represented more than 120 countries.

Ernest Sungura, the executive director at the Tanzania Media Foundation, is the first SUSI scholar from Tanzania and is looking forward to sharing his new knowledge and experience with colleagues when he returns home.

“It has been a great experience because of the exposure from facilitators from different areas but also the exchange in terms of meeting and hearing from various countries,” said Sungura. “We get to learn different cultures but also about different media landscapes from other countries where they restrict the freedom of the press. We also do comparisons with the U.S., the freedom of the press and how the media system works in the U.S., so that’s a very great learning opportunity for us.”

In addition to the time scholars spend at Ohio University, they will visit various media outlets in Cleveland and Columbus; Amish country; the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication convention in Chicago; and CNN, Martin Luther King sites and the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum in Atlanta.

Dr. Surbhi Dahiya, a course director, dean of students’ welfare and associate professor at the Indian Institute of Mass Communication in New Delhi, said she enjoyed the variety of trips and guest speakers offered during the program.

“Visiting CNN has been one of my favorite experiences,” said Dahiya. “I got to interact with Richard Davis, CNN EVP of news standards and practices, and it was great discussing the strategies behind CNN.”

During the six-week program, scholars work on individual research projects with partners from the University. Sungura said that he is researching solutions for journalism sustainability, as this is a challenge back home in Tanzania.

“The most important take home knowledge for me is the guidance for how to finalize my project,” said Sungura. “I have been guided by my research project partners, most of them are Ohio University faculty, about the media economy, dynamics and the changing and working environment which has been good input into my research project. When I go back home after finalizing the proposal I will revise and then see how I can come up with a media business model that can be taken into practice.”

For more information on SUSI, visit Photos of the sessions so far are available on Flickr at Follow along with scholars’ coverage of the event on Twitter #SUSI2017.

Learn more about the 2017 SUSI scholars here.