Monday, June 15, 2020

University of Arizona Launches New Master's Degree in Bilingual Journalism

Posted By on Mon, Jun 15, 2020 at 5:00 PM

Courtesy Creative Commons

The University of Arizona will now offer a Master of Arts in Bilingual Journalism, which is expected to prepare future journalists to “cover complex issues affecting Latinx people in the U.S. and abroad,” according to a press release from the UA’s School of Journalism.

Associate Professor Jessica Retis will head the master’s program beginning in the fall of 2021. She has spent years researching Latino news and was a journalist for 20 years in Peru, Mexico and Spain.

Retis aims to help students understand the history, economics, politics and cultures of diverse groups. The title of “bilingual journalism” will entail much more than just being able to interview sources in two languages.

"Our program seeks to train journalists to understand these complexities,” she said.

The master’s program has core coursework that includes four new classes focused on how the Latino community is portrayed in news media, how global migration of Latin Americans relates to the media, and how to use audio and video to cover issues affecting Latinx people.

This program is fully bilingual. Students who enroll will be expected to be proficient in both English and Spanish.

Thanks to a collaboration between the School of Journalism, the Center for Latin American Studies, the Department of Mexican American Studies and the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, this program is designed for students who either have a background in journalism or have no previous journalism experience but do hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution in the U.S. or abroad.

Students will each complete an internship at a bilingual media outlet or produce a bilingual multimedia project as part of the program.

With its proximity to the US-Mexico border, the School of Journalism already helps train journalists to cover Latino communities in both these countries, giving them a real-world experience. Many of these cross-border journalism assignments have been headed by Associate Professor Celeste González de Bustamante.

"We're in this ideal place for students to get truly a cross-cultural experience," González de Bustamante said. "We have Latino communities in Tucson, but we also have the physical international border 60 miles from us, where we could be in Nogales, Sonora, and that's a great lab and place for students to learn about Mexico, learn about U.S.-border relations."

For more information, visit the program’s website.

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