We would like to share some of the latest developments with War News Radio at Swarthmore College.
Since 2005, Lodge 6 at Swarthmore College has housed the newsroom, studio and community of War News Radio, a weekly public radio program intended to fill the gaps in the media’s coverage of the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond by providing balanced and in-depth reporting, historical perspective, and personal stories.
In late 2011, the WNR staff elected to suspend the weekly program in favor of focusing on more topics, more media platforms and more audience engagement.
In 2012, Lodge 6 is expanding to develop a media incubator, inviting more Swarthmore students and student groups interested in expanding or developing new endeavors in journalism.
During the spring semester, the students who staff War News Radio set out to raise the bar, confronted complex new challenges and eventually broke through to new levels of journalism innovation.
They chose to embrace new tools and media, and a broadened spectrum of topics — limiting themselves only to the boundaries of social responsibility and the principles of journalism. We launched Lodge6.org as a platform for new topics.
Jim MacMillan, Visiting Assistant Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies and War News Radio Journalist in Residence has compiled some of the work from the past semester into a “Best of Spring 2012” report at http://warnewsradio.org This includes an announcement that War News Radio has been honored with two 2012 Mark of Excellence awards from Region One of theSociety of Professional Journalists. And, you can view radio and multimedia reports from students in Jim’s “Peace and Conflict Journalism” course.
Other highlights include:
* Amy DiPierro, Caroline Batten and Collin Smith collaborated to produce a multimedia report, curating existing content — but also producing our first remote video interviews via Skype — starting with an activist who was arrested in Bahrain on the anniversary of the 2011 uprising. Their companion reports reports challenged the validity of a press release from the government of Bahrain — claiming there had been no injuries to protesters — and another story traced tear gas used in Bahrain back to a company in Pennsylvania.
* Klara Aizupitis produced a pair of video reports following the #KONY2012 debacle. The Philadelphia report includes her own field reporting, studio narration, remote video reporting and curation of existing video. Collin produced a companion video report on the complexity of addressing human rights issues.
* Amy produced and compiled radio reports on oil and agriculture in Kurdistan into a feature length radio program. She sent a WNR recorder to Sulaymaniyah with an American aid worked and produced an accompanying video slide show from the resulting audio diary.
* Caroline produced a radio report entitled After the War: PTSD and Veterans’ Care, and Elliana Bisgaard-Church produced another on conditions for Iraq interpreters after the war. Aaron Moser produced a report on The Rebecca Davis Dance Company and their project intended to empower children through teaching dance in Rwanda.
* Alan Zhao produced a multimedia report, combining new remote audio interviews with an Afghan rock band he had interviewed two years ago — Kabul Dreams — with their online rock videos. Aaron produced and narrated an aggregated a video news report when the US Places $10 Million Bounty on Hafiz Saeed.
* Finally, Amy found the perfect balance while pressing traditional boundaries to produce our first musical news report: Uke the Nukes.
Next year, returning seniors Aaron and Elliana are the likely leaders, while Amy and Carolina will be returning from public radio internships — at One the Media and WBUR, respectively.