Since his arrival at Ohio University in early October, Glidden Visiting Professor Ernest Waititu has spoken in several classes and panels, as well as at other events.
Waititu’s professorship is just one aspect of the 2012-13 Year for African Journalism, which will include other speakers and events throughout the year. The program is a joint effort between the African Studies Program and the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism’s Institute for International Journalism.
Currently, Waititu is teaching Foreign Correspondence, a journalism course consisting mostly of senior undergraduate and graduate students. So far, he has led discussions about embedded journalism, criticisms of U.S. media’s international coverage, and reporting humanitarian crises.
Additionally, he has spoken in classes such as Community Journalism and Modern Africa.
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Other events where Waititu has made appearances include a program called Africa Crossroads and a program celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Communication and Development Studies program. During the latter, Waititu presented about one of his papers.
Some of the topics Waititu’s lectures and public events have covered are international media, digital journalism, social media storytelling, long-form storytelling and data journalism.
On Oct. 24, just two days after the presidential debate on foreign policy, Waititu spoke at a Students for Global Media and Diversity meeting about some of the perceptions of U.S. foreign policy held by citizens in developing nations in Africa.
“Lectures have been great because the students, especially in the Foreign Correspondence class, have been very passionate about their work,” he said. “I am learning a lot from them.”
Waititu said he has received “tremendous support” from the African Studies Program and the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.
He described his professorship as a cycle of sorts, because, although he has been regularly teaching and mentoring students, he has also been receiving mentoring from Yusuf Kalyango, director of the Institute for International Journalism, and Steve Howard, director of the African Studies Program.
Waititu said he has enjoyed both the teaching and learning aspects of his time as the Glidden Visiting Professor.
“My time here has given me a great chance to share my knowledge, but also to learn, reflect and write,” he said.