Talk, talk, talk…
I don’t give speeches — I normally just talk (and wave my hands too much while I’m doing it, according to Ellyn.) But my Portugal calendar is starting to be peppered with invitations to give formal presentations to various audiences. I’m always a bit nervous about such things, but I’m honored to do it.
First, I have been asked to welcome the new class of journalism students at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa in late September. I’m glad to do that because I like to communicate my own enthusiasm for the importance of this career to the young people who will lead the way into this new age of multimedia news.
My next confirmed talk will be a more formal occasion. The Comissão Fulbright Portugal will be holding its “Fulbright Brainstorms 2010” conference on October 22-23 at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon. The theme of this year’s conference is “Meeting Global Challenges Through Education and Citizenship”, and several distinguished speakers have been invited to contribute. Read the announcement here.
My first thought was “What do I know about meeting global challenges? My challenges tend to be very local!” But on reflection, it’s a fine topic for a reporter to think and talk about. I’m an ardent believer that independent watchdog journalism is essential to educating people with the information they need to be effective citizens, not only of their country but also of the world. So I will be teaching my students this fall about tools and techniques they can use to analyze public records and examine public problems. At the Brainstorms conference, I plan to make a strong case for the role of serious journalism in helping ensure that government, business and social institutions operate to the benefit of the citizens they serve.
Once I arrive (in less than two weeks!!) I expect there will be more invitations to talk, in addition to my weekly class with my students. UNL Prof. Antonio Granado and the staff at the Comissão Fulbright Portugal are alerting other universities and newsrooms that I’m eager to visit and talk, talk, talk…
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