Diane Winston introduces the Israel-Palestine Project, a multimedia exploration of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, composed by students in her USC Annenberg graduate journalism course on covering religion, politics, and gender. It aims to deepen the historical and sociological context in which the conflict is reported on in the U.S.:
We spent nine days interviewing activists, politicians, religious leaders and citizens in Israel and the West Bank to better understand—as well as to report and write about—issues that, in the American press, often seem unmoored from historical and sociological contexts.
During and after our visit, students wrote short, impressionistic pieces (which we labeled blogs) as well as news features and long-form narratives. The work has been available in different outlets but today, in trans-missions, we can share all of it on the Israel-Palestine Project, a site that students built expressly for this purpose.
In a time of industry cutbacks, this kind of intensive international reporting experience is more important than ever. Journalism students need to know there is a great need, as well as a deep hunger, for in-depth, incisive and informed coverage of global issues. Even as news outlets cut back on foreign bureaus and specialty beats such as religion, geopolitical realities call out for journalists who are attuned to the nuances of faith communities’ perspectives, regional history and the complexities of fault-lines such as race, ethnicity, gender and class.
Also needed are journalists willing to tell the stories of everyday citizens, unheralded heroes, obscure politicians and abrasive activists. You can find stories like these in our Israel-Palestine project.