If you can survive this . . .

Copyright Sopho Altunashvili, 2011

Imagine facing four strangers who you know will judge you. Imagine answering questions in a language that is not your native language. The stakes are high—if you pass the interview, you can study for a master’s degree in journalism and media management; if not, then maybe you’ll need to join the army or stay at home with your parents, meeting your unemployed friends in the afternoon for a smoke.

USC’s SJMC does not interview applicants for its master’s or doctoral programs. But if we did interview applicants, I wonder what we’d learn. Here’s what I learned from the first (of three) days of interviews. One, several people do not keep up with current events inside or outside of Georgia (sound familiar to anyone?). Two, several people want to be talk-show hosts or hostesses because interviewing celebrities (such as Penelope Cruz, said one applicant) is more fun than covering politics (again, sound familiar?). By the way, Georgia has more than 200 political parties, so I’m not sure if I’d like to be a political reporter. Three, no one could think of more than two story ideas. Four, some are already writing blogs or are writing for online publications. Note that Georgia has 610,000 Facebook users and a population of 4.5 million; in Tbilisi, Internet penetration is estimated at 40 percent. Five, one candidate currently works for the The Messenger (http://www.messenger.com.ge/), a daily English-language newspaper (10 pages long on Sept 14, 2011). She writes 1-2 articles per day.


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About keithrkenney
Keith Kenney is a professor of visual communication at the University of South Carolina. He is living in Tbilisi, Georgia, for a year. This blog is about several topics. "CSJMM-Journalism" is about the students, faculty and staff members of the Caucasus School of Journalism and Media Management in Tbilisi, Georgia. "USC-Journalism" is about the students, faculty and staff members of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications (SJMC) at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC. CSJMM and SJMC are recipients of a "Journalism School Partnership" program grant from the US Department of State. The purpose of this $750,000 grant is to improve CSJMM and ensure its sustainability. "Tbilisi, Georgia" is about Susanna Melo and my experiences in Tbilisi. "Columbia, SC" will be about our experiences in our home town--Columbia--when we return home. "Georgia" is about Susanna and my experiences when we travel in Georgia outside of Tbilisi. "United States" is about our experiences traveling in the US. "Films and Photography" is about two documentary films I'm working on in Georgia. One story follows how Adishi handles the rapid tourism that is being developed in Svaneti. The other story follows Tamaz Jalagania, who is a craftsman of swords and guns, an opera singer, and an extraordinary storyteller. "Scholarship" is about my current books, articles, reviews, and grants.

One Response to If you can survive this . . .

  1. Pingback: პირველი გამოცდა « მზის მოყვარულის ბლოგი

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