July 4, 2003 - Dakota Student Online: RPCV Richard Shafe traveling to Kyrgyzstan to teach Journalism

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Kyrgyzstan: Peace Corps Kyrgyzstan : The Peace Corps in Kyrgyzstan: July 4, 2003 - Dakota Student Online: RPCV Richard Shafe traveling to Kyrgyzstan to teach Journalism

By Admin1 (admin) on Friday, July 04, 2003 - 1:50 pm: Edit Post

RPCV Richard Shafe traveling to Kyrgyzstan to teach Journalism

RPCV Richard Shafe traveling to Kyrgyzstan to teach Journalism

UND professor to re-enter newsroom with award
By Kory Wallen, Dakota Student Staff Writer

Richard Shafer, an associate professor in the communication department, will be heading back into the journalism field this summer after being awarded a fellowship by the American Society of Newspaper Editors(ASNE). The Institute for Journalism Excellence Fellowship enables professors to return to daily newspaper journalism and resharpen skills.

With this fellowship Shafer can choose where he wants to work for five weeks. Shafer said his first choice is his hometown of Salt Lake City, with the Boston Globe as another option. Money could be a factor in deciding where he goes.

"With the recession, papers have a tight budget, like Salt Lake," said Shafer.

Neither paper has agreed to host him yet, but Boston seems to be the front runner. In Boston, Shafer would be covering international speakers and covering Harvard and other Boston colleges. If he can't find a paper that will host him, the ASNE will assign him one.

Shafer said he uses the Internet to apply for grants and fellowships like the Journalism Excellence Fellowship.

"I live on the Internet; it's my tool," Shafer said. "In a day I talk to five to 10 countries. I can do anything from my keyboard."

This past August, Shafer and his family returned from Kyrgyzstan, where he taught workshops on journalism. This was possible due to a Fulbright Fellowship.

"The Fulbright allows professors to be professors somewhere else for a year," Shafer said. "Malaysia was my finalist, but Uzbekistan was my fall-back, and a wonderful fall-back. I now have a passion for Kyrgyzstan Ñ it is so untouched."

While in Kyrgyzstan, Shafer taught at the American University in the city of Bishkek. Language was a big factor during his stay, as his lectures had to be translated to Uzbeki and Russian. "By the end students started picking up English and translations went faster," Shafer said.

This summer Shafer plans to go back to Kyrgyzstan. With a grant sponsored by the George Soros Foundation and the Central European University of Budapest, he will be back teaching.

"The Soviets are big on teaching free press," he said.

Shafer said he has always had a passion for journalism. He worked in many newsrooms while attending graduate school. In the 1960s he joined the Peace Corps, which delayed his career.

"By the time I got into journalism, I wasn't going to move up fast enough," Shafer said.

After the Peace Corps he traveled the world as a reporter and teacher. He has taught at Texas A&M, conducted research in many countries and has written a book entitled "Journalists for Change".

Despite a lifetime of journalism and adventure, Shafer said he is very excited to get back working and learning at a newspaper.

"I'm always trying to get back into the newsroom," Shafer said. "When you're not in the newsroom you can get behind. Relearning skills and learning new skills can give me a lot of insight on how media is working in 2002," said Shafer.

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Story Source: Dakota Student Online

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Kyrgyzstan; Journalism



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