EIJ Day 2: So You Want to Be a Foreign Correspondent?

We’re sharing highlights from the Excellence in Journalism national conference. Follow @spjonadepaul on Twitter for more journalism news and tips!

By Carina Smith

“So You Want to be a Foreign Correspondent” took place on the second day of the EIJ conference and featured a panel of four journalists who had a variety of experience across the world reporting on a number of foreign issues.

The panelists were:

The journalists spoke about the trials and tribulations that come with being a foreign correspondent. They openly discussed how hard it can be to maintain relationships and find a steady paycheck, especially in the modern era when so many outlets don’t seem to care about what is going on outside of our own borders. The panelists also spoke openly about times when they had risked their lives while reporting and were treated as enemies by the local governments.

However, the panelists also spoke about why they continue on this career path: because they love it. The journalists said that despite the downsides they continue to report abroad because they think it is important for America to know what is going on in the rest of the world. The panel ended with the speakers telling everyone who is interested in being a foreign correspondent to do it. It may be hard, but the payout is worth it.

Diversity in War Reporting Panel Recap

Panelists spoke about their experiences during a discussion about diversity in war reporting. (Left to right: Alex Quade, Jackie Spinner, Alex Rodriguez, Cornell Wilson, Moderator Chris Bury)

Panelists (seated) spoke about their experiences during a discussion about diversity in war reporting. (Left to right: Alex Quade, Jackie Spinner, Alex Rodriguez, Cornell Wilson, moderator Chris Bury)

An audience of more than 30 students and journalism professionals joined SPJ/ONA DePaul and an expert panel for a discussion on war reporting last Wednesday evening.

Panelists fielded questions from SPJ/ONA DePaul’s executive board as well as questions from the audience. Chris Bury, DePaul’s senior journalist in residence and award-winning broadcast journalist, moderated the event.

Audience members listen to discussion.

Audience members listen to discussion.

Panelists included:

  • Alex Quade, award-winning war reporter and documentary filmmaker
  • Jackie Spinner, journalism professor at Columbia College Chicago and correspondent for the Columbia Journalism Review’s United States Project
  • Cornell Wilson, attorney, community advocate and United States Marine Corps veteran
  • Alex Rodriguez, Chicago Tribune Nation/World and Global Connections Editor

Alexandra Halaby, senior contributing editor and spokesperson at the International Middle East Media Center, was prepared to join the panel via Skype, but could not due to technical difficulties.

President Emily Brosious sets up camera to record event.

SPJ/ONA DePaul president Emily Brosious sets up camera to film event.

Audience members live-tweeted the conversation using the Twitter hashtag #SPJWDP.

Diversity in War Reporting Panel: Wednesday, March 4

Diversity in War Reporting Flier

Join SPJ/ONA DePaul and our panel of experts for a conversation on war reporting and conflict-zone news coverage. Panelists will discuss issues including:

  • The controversy surrounding NBC “Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams
  • How to navigate language and cultural barriers during foreign correspondence
  • Safety measures while reporting in conflict zones

Panelists:

  • Alex Quade, award-winning war reporter and documentary filmmaker
  • Jackie Spinner, journalism professor at Columbia College Chicago and correspondent for the Columbia Journalism Review’s United States Project
  • Alexandra Halaby, senior contributing editor and spokesperson at the International Middle East Media Center
  • Cornell Wilson, attorney, community advocate and United States Marine Corps veteran
  • Alex Rodriguez, Chicago Tribune Nation/World and Global Connections Editor

Moderator: Chris Bury, Al Jazeera America correspondent and DePaul University senior journalist in residence

This event is free and open to the public. Click here to RSVP.

Follow the conversation on Twitter using hashtag #SPJWDP