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Stephan Garnett says Medill’s Global Journalism program offers students competitive international experience

Stephan Garnett’s had a distinguished career as a journalist, as an investigative reporter for The Chicago Reporter and an urban and police reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago. He spent 14 years as a magazine feature writer and editor - first for ShopTalk, a trade publication, then at Dollars & Sense and BlackBook magazines. Garnett recently researched and consulted for documentaries produced by the BBC and CNN and has been an essayist for "Chicago Matters," an acclaimed local Public Radio community series.

Garnett, a Medill lecturer, is also an adviser for Medill's Global Journalism program. When the University of Hamburg in Germany approached Medill’s Global Journalism program this year, both universities partnered international students from both countries to collaborate. This was very much an international collaboration, Garnett said; with the schools having American, Bulgarian, Chinese, French and German students participating. Ten students from Hamburg, and 10 from Medill, including three BSJ undergraduates, interviewed survivors, children and grandchildren to show how the Holocaust not only affected the people who went through it but how it affected the following generations.  Medill students traveled to Germany and collectively produced five written stories, two audio and four video stories to be debuted on a website “The Memory Archives,” due to launch in November to commemorate Kristallnacht in Germany on Nov. 9, 1938.  Garnett noted it was a special trip because it dealt with one of the most horrendous experiences in recent history. “The students who interviewed these people were very young and they handled it so well with such compassion and understanding,” Garnett said, resulting in outstanding student-produced work. “I knew I was going to have good writers, dedicated film makers and great audio,” he said after learning about the Medill students going on the trip.

Garnett has seen students tremendously benefit from the global program.  “Students who participate are interested in the world,” he said.  “Travel is the best education you can give yourself especially as a journalist. You need to have a global perspective and the only way to do that is to get out of the country and see someplace else.” Garnett believes the Global Journalism program offers the type of global experience that you can only get at Medill