The students developed more than a dozen stories across multiple media to tell the story of the Jews of Florence, a minority presence that dates back in this Renaissance Catholic city to the mid-15th century.
The students’ work is published online at Viking Fusion, the department of Communication’s multimedia website (http://vikingfusion.berry.edu/news/feature-stories/project-florence/). Story topics include how Jewish Florentines negotiate their religious and national identity in a predominantly Catholic country, a story about kosher Italian cooking, a photo tour of the city’s only synagogue, and the heart-wrenching story of World War II survivor Fortunata Franchetti Treves.
“We had so much help from so many good people in Florence,” said Brian Carroll, Florence project director and associate professor of communication at Berry. “The kindness of Florentines in opening up their homes and giving of their time was overwhelming and an inspiration.”
The Berry students learned international journalism at the grassroots level, working as foreign correspondents as part of a larger, intense immersion experience.
Students received instruction in the field and gained experience in a wide range of areas, including multimedia, photography, videography, photo and video editing, writing and reporting, and web publishing.
“To be honest, I was intimidated by the converged media nature of our project, especially video,” said Chardonnay Copeland, a junior communication major from Hamilton. “But I found out I could rise to a challenge, and I learned how to do journalism in any medium, in all media.”
Joining Carroll as instructors for the project were Berry faculty members Kevin Kleine, lecturer of Communication and student publications advisor, and Curt Hersey, instructor of Communication.
Participating students were Bethany McDaniel, Chardonnay Copeland, Kirstie Broadwell, Kelly Dickerson, Kayla Sanner, Rachel Shin and Mary Claire Stewart.
The Florence multimedia reporting practicum is offered by Berry every two years.