Newhouse Center for Global Engagement: the power of storytelling

Confronting a global theme by transforming ideas into action, creating and disseminating knowledge with means accessible to all: these are the activities of the Newhouse Center for Global Engagement, as explained by Ken Harper, the Center’s director

Telling a story means first of all recognizing its importance and thus sharing it, entrusting it to the means of communication easily accessible to most people. The goal is to spread the spirit that the story carries, because every story is made of words but above all of emotions. The real challenge, however, lies in being able to do so, collaborating and innovating: a method that is taught at the Newhouse Center for Global Engagement, where they explore the ecosystem - as they themselves call it - of global communication, focusing their attention and action on a specific theme every time, creating multimedia projects.

Let’s have a look at some of this work, for example the analysis of the media landscape in Liberia or the dedicated campaign to encourage teenagers in Qatar and their families to practice sports, pointing to its physical, mental and cultural benefits. And the search for stories continues, connecting the points from different parts of the world, like Grahamstown in South Africa and Syracuse in New York (where the school has its headquarters, by the way).

A new journalism, contemporary, and in which one must be able to move well. "It is very difficult today to prepare a student for becoming a journalist" said Ken Harper, Center director, during the last edition of the International Journalism Festival in Perugia. "The content platforms have evolved greatly, the specializations are many and there is a lot of technology".
We live in the information glut and it is the ability to grasp a story that makes a difference, being able to have something to say: "The goal - Harper said - is attracting the attention of people around the world, whether the story is written, recorded on video or audio. The point is to be able to share a story with the people and with other people again, making them cry or feel angry: if we succeed, it means that we have been successful".

But the "narrative recipe" by Ken Harper also implies insight and courage. This is illustrated by the narrator of the video dedicated to Liberia: ""If you have the strength to ask the questions, you can get the story".



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