In 2013, 18 students produced a destination guide and issue-oriented story. They contended with a historically cold and wet early summer, flooding of the Vltava River, and a government-declared state of emergency the last days of the program. They adjusted well. That was the first year the travel journalism program was based in Prague. In 2010 and 2011, the program was based in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
In 2014, 17 undergraduate students produced four stories during the 15-day program. One was a destination guide to Prague based on a niche interest, such as contemporary art, local tastes in food, or historic preservation. Another was an issue-oriented story. The third and fourth stories were a book review and app/gadget review for traveling in Prague. Students modeled the work of traditional travel writers and independent foreign correspondents.
In 2015, 20 undergraduate students produced a destination guide and issue-oriented story, complemented by multimedia and social media assignments for each piece. As journalists look toward a new era of storytelling, classroom conversations unpacked reporting, logistical and ethical considerations that accompany increasingly visual, interactive pieces.
In 2016, 15 undergraduate women produced a venue-focused piece and issue-driven piece, both complemented by photos, video and social media posts. Classroom discussions covered elements of reporting and writing across all platforms, including broadcast, traditional print and digital text and video stories.
John F. Greenman, professor and Carter Chair in Journalism, created the Travel Journalism program. Greenman taught the public affairs journalism sequence at UGA’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication and retired in 2015. Greenman served as professor for the 2013 and 2014 programs.
Dodie Cantrell-Bickley, a Grady College lecturer, spent three decades in broadcasting as a reporter, news anchor, news producer and television president and general manager. After the fall of Communism in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, Cantrell-Bickley volunteered to travel to Bulgaria and Macedonia to work with journalists learning how to function in their new environment. Cantrell served as professor for the 2015 and 2016 programs.
Carolyn Crist, a graduate of Grady College’s health and medical journalism program, is a freelance journalist who writes technology, business and health stories for publications such as Atlanta Magazine, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Paste Magazine and Anesthesiology News. Crist served as academic assistant and website manager for all four years of the Prague program.
In addition, several Prague-based journalists served as consulting faculty for the program, giving students guidance about story ideas and sources.
We’re grateful for the advice and assistance of Nikki Norris, Pavlina Venclova, and Svetlana Kralova of the Undergraduate Program in Central European Studies at Charles University. A final thanks to Joann Plockova, a freelance journalist in Prague, whose advice about restaurants kept us nourished and happy.
Contact Cantrell at email@example.com, Crist at firstname.lastname@example.org and Greenman at email@example.com.