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Emerson Faculty Featured at Irish Journalism Conference

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Tim Pratt ’11
November 23, 2010

Emerson Journalism Associate Professor Jerry Lanson, and Writing, Literature and Publishing Associate Professor Jeffrey Seglin were two of just three academics invited to a 10–day workshop at the Irish Institute at Boston College. The event, “Emerging Voices: Millennial Journalists in a Changing Media Landscape,” took place November 9–19.

Workshops and seminars were conducted by prominent journalists such as MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow; Kevin Cullen, former foreign correspondent and current columnist for the Boston Globe; and John Campbell, assistant editor of BBC News in Northern Ireland.

Jerry Lanson

Journalism Associate Professor Jerry Lanson

Throughout the year the Irish Institute at Boston College hosts numerous workshops and invites officials, policymakers, and working professionals from Ireland and Northern Ireland to participate as a way to promote peace in the areas of government, non-profit, business, and education.

The Institute’s Emerging Voices program invited millennial journalists from Ireland ages 25 to 30.

Lanson and Seglin co-teach a professional ethics course at Emerson and hosted a seminar on the same topic for the Institute at an earlier conference in March 2010, which was geared toward Irish political journalists and producers ages 40–60. The seminar was so successful that they were invited to speak again at the workshop in November, and have been asked back for future conferences and workshops.

“It is such an honor to be invited back, and I think the way we teach ethics at Emerson, which is from a much more personal and grounded level rather than philosophical, really resonated with the Institute for this workshop.”

“Jerry [Lanson] and I have practiced in the field for years and are able to relate our experiences to ethics in a classroom setting. It’s hard to find that at other schools,” said Seglin.

In order to align their workshop with the interests of millennials, Seglin and Lanson added a social media component to the November workshop. “We discussed Wiki-leaks and the David Patterson Twitter leak, as well as other social media issues in our session,” Seglin said.

“The goal of this 10-day workshop is for these Irish journalists to learn about American journalism, get to know each other, and step back from their jobs and really focus on understanding their differences,” explained Lanson. “Having the conference at Boston College allows the U.S. to act as a facilitator among these two groups.”

Jeffrey Seglin

Writing, Literature and Publishing Associate Professor Jeffrey Seglin

Both Seglin and Lanson hope to bring the international perspective they gained from the conference and the current rise of social media into their Emerson classrooms.

“I loved working with these journalists because we are given some new insights and perspectives that we didn’t have before,” added Lanson. “We live in a global village, and it’s important to infuse that into our classes.”

Seglin, who teaches magazine and column writing, feels that global perspectives are a key element to bring into the classroom.

“It is rare to learn from a selective number of international journalists in the way I did, so I really try to bring my experiences with the Institute to the classroom,” he said. “It can really help broaden Emerson’s reach.”

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