Diversity & Democracy: Civic Learning for Shared Futures
Diversity Innovations Institutional Leadership and Commitment
Diversity Digest Volume 7, Number 4

Diversity Digest
Volume 7,
Number 4

Download our print issue (PDF)
Institutional Leadership and Commitment
Learning Through Evaluation: The James Irvine Foundation Campus Diversity Initiative (CDI) Project
James Irvine Foundation’s Campus Diversity Initiative
Diversity Climate Surveys:
Worth the Effort
Unleashing the Power of Metaphor: Pepperdine University
Implications of Prop 54
Faculty Involvement
Enhancing Diversity: University of Southern California
More than Bittersweet Success: University of the Pacific
Curricular Transformation
Institutionalizing Diversity: Occidental College
Educating for a Just Society: University of San Francisco
Making Diversity News
Media Watch
Teaching Students Media Skills
AAC&U Evaluation Resources
Irvine CDI Evaluation Resources
DATA: Capturing Hopes

Teaching Students Media Skills

While most agree that interacting with the news media on campus and in the community can be a highly effective strategy to communicate the benefits of diversity, few resources provide ways to integrate media assignments into diversity courses. Hence, students fail to learn ways to articulate issues of diversity to the media. Here is an example of how to generate media stories through course assignments.

This example was used at the University of Maryland, College Park in an Asian American Studies course called Asian American Communities: The DC Metro Area, taught by Dr. Daniel Hiroyuki Teraguchi. Teraguchi adapted his news story exercise from Dr. Peter Nien-chu Kiang’s course assignment used in Boston’s Asian American Communities at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. The goal of this exercise is to teach students how to create news stories to educate the public about a critical issue in an Asian American community.

Creating the Story Line

The initial task is for a team of students to agree on an important issue, idea, or question related to Asian American communities in the DC Metro Area, and then (re)present it for the class to see/hear/ understand/appreciate. To begin generating stories, Teraguchi asks students to write down five emotions. He then poses a series questions for students to contemplate. Questions include: Which emotions do you want to portray in your story? What emotions do you want to draw on to engage your audience?

Then students are asked to work in teams to determine a particular conflict or tension within the vast, pan-ethnic Asian American community. Teraguchi then takes students through a series of tasks to help them further explore and clarify their story lines through different forms of expression.

Task One: Students can talk among themselves to prepare, but they cannot speak during their presentation. Each group must create a silent “human sculpture” to represent an idea/issue/question. Students must portray the conflict/tension through a silent demonstration of emotion.

Task Two: To further clarify the focus of their news story, each student team creates a mural to “illustrate” the idea/issue/question. No English words can be used. The mural must also reflect the identity of each member in the group. This identity can be hidden or obvious. Each team must explain the symbols, objects, and drawings portrayed in their mural to the class.
Task Three: Each team produces a two-minute skit to imitate a network news story. Students may be either at the news desk or on site investigating an idea/issue/question. The group must represent the voice of the Asian American community they are studying through their news story.

Task Four: The group is instructed to write a publishable article for a student, campus, or community newspaper. After edits from the professor, students have the option of submitting the articles to their newspaper of choice for publication.
Final Thoughts: This assignment generally spans a 3-week period with each task due subsequently. Many aspects of this assignment may be adapted in a variety of diversity courses to enhance student communication skills and widen the public’s understanding of diversity issues.

Questions, comments, and suggestions regarding Diversity & Democracy should be directed to Kathryn Peltier Campbell at campbell@aacu.org.
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