Shayna Plaut

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Journalism Education by and for transnational peoples
Dr. Claudia Ruitenberg and Dr. Deirdre Kelly
Chicago, IL
United States

Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

In the world of academia, in order to create an academic program (such as creating a human rights/social justice focus at a journalism/media school) one must be a tenured professor – hence my PhD.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

UBC offers a wide range of support in interdisciplinary approaches to study and in creative approaches to both designing your research question and your methodology. In addition, the Canadian government recognizes and respects that higher education is an investment to their society and provides both the financial and institutional support to pursue ones studies.

What do you hope to accomplish with your research?

I hope to learn from transnational peoples how one can construct a journalism education program that can be both credible and professional without falling into the pitfalls of existing power relations masked as neutrality (but often really favors the status quo). It is my goal to take these lessons and apply it to create programs at journalism/media schools where students may be able to specialize in human rights and social justice focused journalism.

What are your future career goals?

I will start a human rights program at universities focusing on educating future journalists and media makers. In the same way that journalism/media students can focus on entertainment or sports they should have a basic literacy if not fluency in human rights. It will be my honor to create that.

What has been your most memorable Vancouver experience so far?

It has been a bit of a rough transition from urban, gritty, American city life to the tranquil pretty of Vancouver... but I have learned how to slow down a bit and accept where I am.

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

Ask lots of questions even if you feel you are being annoying. Recognize that education is a process with many stumbling blocks and you will need to stumble but it is your journey – just always be sure to share the journey with others.

Personal Interests / Hobbies

Photography, walking, eating, cooking and sharing a dark sense of humor