The University of Iowa

J-school students to study in Britain during royal wedding

February 24th, 2011

By Madison Bennett, The Daily Iowan

Some University of Iowa students will experience British society after a royal wedding this summer. They’ll also witness preparations for the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Journalism students will travel to Britain as part of Truth and Accuracy in the British Press, a new journalism course, which will allow students to examine the British media and compare British news and television with their American counterparts.

“Students will be traveling right in the middle of two mega-world events,” said journalism Professor Stephen Bloom.

Bloom, a self-proclaimed “newspaper junkie,” brought the idea to the Office of Study Abroad last spring as the first journalism course taught abroad by a UI professor.

The class is just one of about two dozen UI faculty-run programs to take place abroad this summer, said John Rogers, assistant director of Study Abroad.

“We’re going a lot of different places,” he said.

The London course is an outgrowth of a similar course Bloom taught at the UI, but now he’s taking it overseas.

“This is a great opportunity to see how we practice journalism,” he said. “And to see how it’s practiced in another country that uses the same language.”

Many students agree a course sponsored by the School of Journalism and Mass Communication set in an English-speaking country is an ideal opportunity to study abroad.

UI junior Brittany Caplin, a journalism major, said she saw fliers for the class around the Adler Building and thinks Britain is a perfect place to study journalism.

Bloom said he proposed London because it’s a “cosmopolitan cultural city” with a rich history in journalism. Also, he said, people in London still read newspapers as a pastime, something he thinks Americans have forgotten.

“The glue of the literate society has been the newspapers,” Bloom said.

The three-semester hour course will span four weeks — from June 19 to July 15 — in which students will stay in the Bloomsbury District.

Activities will include visits to four British publications and the British Museum, two all-day tours of literary Britain, and potentially the BBC.

“This is a great opportunity to see how we practice journalism. And to see how it’s practiced in another country that uses the same language.”

The program has room for up to 20 people and is still accepting applications from students — both journalism majors and not. The course goes toward either a general-education credit or journalism credit, and financial aid is available. The estimated cost is $4,135.

UI junior Lindsey Moon, a journalism and anthropology major, said she’s always been interested in studying abroad but could never afford it.

“The J-School offers some really great opportunities, but some are so expensive it’s just outrageous,” she said.