Morocco: Field Studies in Journalism and New Media

"Working with a Moroccan journalism partner has been a fantastic part of my experience: We have shared skills, contacts, and ideas, and have become friends in the process. Doing journalism in a foreign country is a challenge, but collaborating with another journalism student with invaluable insight, who can navigate the culture and language easily, has made our work fun and even more enlightening, especially since we are working on a controversial topic (female homosexuality). I feel so lucky to have gotten this opportunity through SIT!"

—Marie von Hafften, Whitman College

In an increasingly globalized journalism market, Morocco is an ideal setting in which to study, generate news stories, and experience the work of foreign correspondents.

This program is ideally suited to any student with excellent writing and/or multimedia skills, including journalism and communications majors.

Live and study in Morocco’s capital.
The program is based in Rabat. Most classes are held at the Center for Cross Cultural Learning — SIT’s in-country partner — located in a 19th-century Moorish-style riad in the city’s historic medina. The Center is situated near important cultural sites, including the 12th-century Kasbah Oudaya and the Ville Nouvelle, established by the French colonial administration in the early 1900s. Some program components take place at the Higher Institute of Information and Communication (ISIC), at the Mohammed V University campus.

The city’s newly built tramway has made transportation in the city smoother and more fluid, helping students more easily execute reporting assignments, as well as explore different neighborhoods, such as Madinat al Irfane, the university city. For much of their time in Rabat, students live with a working- or middle-class Moroccan family.  Learn more about the program’s homestays.

Advance your journalism and intercultural communication skills.
The program is designed to help students better understand:

  • the main challenges affecting the practice of journalism in Morocco and North Africa;
  • the dominant issues in Moroccan society, such as youth culture and (un)employment, gender issues, identity and ethnicity, urban-rural divisions, mass and social media, religion, education and literacy, art, film and music, and human rights;
  • the demands of news gathering in another culture, reporting/photojournalism that adheres to the highest standards of the profession, and techniques for executing an original, well-researched feature story of interest to a global audience; and
  • how Arabic or French (depending on the student’s course selection) functions in Moroccan culture.

Learn from a diversity of in-country resources and partners.
Lecturers include experts from the following institutions:

  • Mary Stucky and other journalists affiliated with Round Earth Media, a nonprofit media organization, based in the United States, that works with experienced and early-career journalists to unearth stirring, life-changing stories in underreported areas of the world. These stories find a global audience in many of the world’s most prestigious media outlets. Mary Stucky and her team will introduce students to journalists working in Morocco, including reporters who cover Morocco for top-tier media outlets such as the Associated Press.
  • Higher Institute of Information and Communication, Morocco’s only public school for journalism. American students on this program are partnered with journalism students at ISIC who speak English. Together they produce a major feature story (ISJ).
  • Research Group on Migration and Culture, Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences,Mohammed V University
  • National Council for Human Rights
  • Ecole Supérieure de Journalisme et de Communication (Higher Institute of Journalism and Communication), owned by Ecomédias Press group

Students also engage with high-profile Moroccan journalists. Students are able to draw from these resources to advance their learning throughout the semester.

Craft an original, feature-length story for a global audience.
Students spend the majority of the semester finding, researching and executing a story topic of their choosing under the expert guidance of journalists from Round Earth Media. Outstanding features may ultimately be considered for publication (in print, broadcast, or online) in US news outlets with whom Round Earth Media works.
 
Students might find specific stories for the Independent Study in Journalism within these sample topic areas:

  • Social change and youth movements
  • Morocco’s place within the Arab Spring
  • Women’s health issues in rural Morocco
  • Alternative energies and sustainable development
  • Music festivals as political statements
  • Local farm issues, such as the impact of the Morocco-US free trade agreement
  • Media and the democratization of the political process 

Gain new competencies in Arabic or French.
Students take either Modern Standard Arabic (at the beginning or intermediate level), or French or Arabic (at the intermediate high or advanced level). Although Arabic is Morocco’s official language, French is primarily used in business and government settings.


Costs Dates



Credits: 16

Duration: 15 weeks

Program Base: Rabat

Language Study: Arabic,  French

Prerequisites: Coursework in writing, journalism, or related fields. Read more...

View Student Evaluations for this program:

About the Evaluations (PDF)

Fall 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Spring 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Fall 2012 Evaluations (PDF)


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