The J-School’s Global Media Honors Program will offer an opportunity for six students to journey to Nepal this summer* to report on and study in the country. This year’s trip will focus on issues of Nepal’s largely-rural, mountainous environment, and how that environment is faring with increased development in the Himalayan region. It will also focus on increasing trade and development ties with an important neighbor for the country: China.
(*Any student interested in the possibility of going on the trip should either already have or obtain ASAP a Chinese passport that will allow international travel to be booked. If students do not have a passport, they are encouraged to go to their hometowns and begin the process of obtaining a passport.)
The trip will be led by program director John Noonan and J-School partner and former professor Binod Bhattarai. The trip is open to ALL J-School sophomores, juniors, and master’s degree students; any trip participant must be physically present and enrolled at STU for the fall 2017 semester. J-Schoolers who are strong in English and interested in the trip are encouraged to apply. The strongest two students will be selected both for the two-week trip and a month-long internship that will precede it with ECS Nepal, (http://ecs.com.np/) a highly-respected Nepalese magazine and media company.
For those familiar with the set-up of our previous trips, there will be several notable changes for this year. Briefly, they are:
Timing of trip. The trip will take place, roughly, in the first two weeks of September to avoid any conflicts with final exams. Those selected for internships would go to Nepal first in the beginning of August, with the assistance of our colleague Binod Bhattarai, and then complete the journey/internship with our group upon our arrival in early September.
Trip is open to more J-Schoolers. As mentioned, this year’s trip is open to ALL J-School sophomores, juniors, and master’s degree students, as long as they are physically present and enrolled at STU in the fall 2017. All applicants should be, however, strong at English; with that in mind, GMHP students are strongly encouraged to apply.
***Physically able to trek in Himalaya for 7-8 days. As mentioned, one primary focus of the trip will be reporting on rural/ environmental/development issues in the Himalaya. Thus students must be physically able to walk in the mountains and report on conditions there, as we will be going to areas where there are no roads. Close to one-third of Nepal lives a three-hour walk from the nearest all-season road; it is a primary goal of our trip to walk into these areas on foot and report on issues there, as most of these places are developing quickly and will not be roadless for long.
2016 Nepal students hold up a J-School banner on a hilltop near the end of a trek in the Annapurna region of Nepal.
ECS Media — Internship Description:
The J-School’s Global Media Honors Program will offer an opportunity for two highly-qualified students to precede the two–week Nepal reporting trip with a roughly month-long internship at ECS Nepal, based in the capital city of Kathmandu; ECS produces a number of English-language magazines about Nepal and Asia, and also a high-end Chinese-language travel magazine distributed in China. This internship will fulfill the requirements of the mid-length internship required by the J-School, and students will receive credits for it upon the completion of their internship and the work associated with it in the fall of 2017.
J-Schooler Yiqing Luo pictured in a magazine article that she also wrote for ECS Media, on getaways in Kathmandu.
Strong Chinese-language and English-language reporting and writing skills are required for the internship. Airfare, transportation, and insurance will be provided by the J-School, but students should expect to pay for their own meals and personal expenses for the internship/reporting trip.* Highly qualified students in need may qualify for financial aid. (*Budgeting for food and personal expenses will likely be somewhat lower for interns than for two-week trip participants, as they will have access to a kitchen; our partner Binod Bhattarai will assist interns in finding appropriate accommodation for their internship in Kathmandu.)
Two-Week Nepal Reporting Trip Description:
Six students in total will be selected for the Nepal Reporting Trip 2017, four for a two-week reporting trip, and (as mentioned) two highly qualified students for the month internship + reporting trip/internship completion. Upon arriving in Kathmandu, the group will be met by accomplished Nepalese journalist and former STU J-School teacher Binod Bhattarai, currently living in Kathmandu. Bhattarai will serve as trip co-leader, and will assist in setting up reporting possibilities on important issues affecting Nepal. In addition to Kathmandu, the team will trek in the Langtang Valley region of the country for 7-8 days, to report on a number of rural development/environmental issues there.* In Kathmandu, both at the beginning and at the end of the trip, students will be expected to set up interviews with experts on these issues, cover stories related to Nepal’s increasing relationship with China, and also pursue stories of their own interest. (*This trek is routinely described as “moderate” in its difficulty level; people in their 50s, 60s, and even a few in their 70s routinely trek this route. It should not be too difficult for someone in their 20s of moderate to good physical fitness.)
Langtang mountain view, and valley and river Photos from: https://sh1807.wordpress.com/
Trip Budget and Expense Coverage:
Accommodation, airfare, transportation, and insurance will be provided by the J-School, but students should expect to budget – at maximum — 30 USD per day for food and personal expenses for the two-week trip. Highly qualified students in need may qualify for financial aid.
Applicant Requirements and Desired Qualities：
Students will be expected to produce Chinese-language and English-language articles, photography, multi-media and short documentary videos by the end of the trip, and make every effort to have their stories and other works published in professional media outlets.
Students selected for the trip should be prepared to take on the responsibility of trip co-organizers, as there is only one J-School teacher involved. Students should also expect to begin participating in an informal Nepal Reporting Trip Preparation class run by John Noonan once a week, on a Thursday or Friday afternoon during lunchtime hours when everyone is free, to begin roughly around the beginning of April.
Students also MUST complete their stories they have begun work on in Nepal upon their return to school in the fall of 2017, and be able to meet on a regular basis in the fall semester to begin preparing for a major presentation later in the fall; Nepal trip students will give a university-wide “sharing session” in roughly late November or early December.
Applicants should be strong English-language and Chinese-language writers, responsible reporters, flexible in their needs and expectations, and be able to maintain a positive attitude in difficult situations. They should be hard-working, and be able to work well in a team. They should be extremely curious about other countries and cultures; as Nepal is a poor, developing country, they should be willing and eager to deal with a hardship destination — and be able to maintain a positive attitude while doing so. They should eagerly look forward to the opportunity to trek and report on rural conditions in the Himalaya for 7-8 days.
Candidates should be in good physical health, and be flexible in dietary requirements. Any chosen applicant should put all his/her effort into contributing to and learning from the opportunity on the trip/internship, and make a positive contribution to the J-School through his/her experience.
All applicants should do two things to submit their applications: Print out a paper copy of the completed application and put it in the plastic folder on John Noonan’s office door, RM 410 of the J-School, by Wednesday, March 22nd at 9 am, and also send a back-up electronic copy to John’s TA, Gray, at email@example.com by Wednesday, March 22nd at 9 am. ** LATE, INCOMPLETE, PLAGIARIZED APPLICATIONS OR APPLICATIONS THAT FAIL TO FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS OR MEET THE DEADLINE WILL BE IMMEDIATELY REJECTED.
I look forward to receiving your applications, and please feel free to come talk with me in Rm 410 at the J-School if you have any questions.
Global Media Honors Program
**Please check out work from previous years’ Nepal Reporting Teams at: http://media.stu.edu.cn/nepal/