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Ole Miss Students Recount Ethiopia Experiences at Overby Center Tuesday

Photo courtesy UM Communications
Photo courtesy UM Communications

Ten Ole Miss students will share experiences from their winter session trip to Ethiopia at 11 a.m. March 31 in a program at the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics at the university.

The student panel will discuss what they learned and show some of the photos and video shot in Northeastern Ethiopia, from the lofty capital of Addis Ababa to the source of the legendary Blue Nile.

Student reporters interviewed Ethiopians about farming, religion, the arts, athletics, health care and environmentalism, acting much like foreign correspondents from major newspapers and television networks. They placed a special focus on stories with ties to Mississippi. They also reported on the country’s exuberant and colorful Timkat ceremonies, the Ethiopian orthodox commemoration of Epiphany.

They working this semester to turn their reporting into multimedia content for print, television, radio and digital media.

The trip, organized by the Meek School of Journalism and New Media, was designed to give students invaluable experience by having them work as journalists in an unfamiliar land far from home. Director of Student Media and Assistant Journalism Professor Patricia Thompson was faculty leader on the trip, organized by the Meek School of Journalism & New Media.

“It is rare for undergraduates to get the opportunity to do international journalism,” Thompson said. “The students worked really hard every day. This was a life-changing experience for them. What they accomplished in just eight days in Ethiopia is remarkable.”

Students worked throughout fall and spring semesters with Thompson, Assistant Professor Mikki Harris and Overby Fellow Bill Rose. Mark Gail, a former Washington Post photojournalist, traveled with Thompson and the students to Ethiopia, working closely with them on their photojournalism.

“I think people will be surprised at the high quality of the work they have done amid unusual conditions in a foreign land,” Rose said. “Many a professional reporter would be envious of their assignments.”

The event is free and open to the public.

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