Wednesday, November 11, 2009

In the works

Snow is on the ground here in Fairbanks. The brigade's command officially changed hands earlier this week. Col. Burt Thompson and many others are soon jetting off to new assignments.

Our Iraq adventures, from accompanying soldiers on sweat-streaming patrols in Diyala to the odd serenity we glimpsed exiting through VIP quarters near Aw Faw palace, continue to draw attention within the field.

CBC's The Current, a national radio program, aired a thoughtful discussion about the project, featuring interviews with Globe and Mail war correspondent Graeme Smith, Tom Hewitt and myself. Scroll down to the 9/29/09 show's third segment for the audio stream.

A fairly comprehensive three-page spread, "From J-school to Jihad," was the lead item in Editor and Publisher's September hard-copy edition, illustrated by several of the student's photos!

In October, Ryerson Review of Journalism, an online publication associated with a Canadian university of that name, posted "Extreme J-School," an written by graduate student Chelsea Murray, contrasting our project with a Canadian journalism program's involvement producing a multimedia documentary about environmental problems in Ghana.

What's next?

Hewitt, Jessica Hoffman and other students are working on a new website presenting a fuller picture of UAF Journalism's experience reporting on Alaska soldiers efforts in Iraq, as well as the 1/25th Stryker Brigade Combat Team's ceremonial "redeployment" home. The package should show up later this winter on Extreme Alaska, the department's online publication.

We're planning a public lecture about the Iraq embedding project this spring. I'm also reprising "JRN 493 Pen and Sword: Covering America's military" the special topics class constructed around what then seemed to be a radical real-world assignment: embedding UAF students in local war games proceeding the brigade's 2005 deployment.

Little did we know,

--Brian O'D


  1. Brian, thanks for the summary and loved listening to the interview on "The Current" and learning about the waivers the students signed to go on the trip. Good luck w/the JRN 493 Pen and Sword: Covering America's military course in the Spring 2010.

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