The last few weeks have flown by and as the countdown nears to take off on the Vietnam Reporter Project (VRP), our crew is making final preparations. Ten students have been selected to travel to Vietnam with three staff members from The University of Queensland’s School of Journalism and Communication.
The VRP is the implementation of JOUR3401, a pilot course offered exclusively by the school and joint funded by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR). The project seeks to give first, second and third year students of journalism a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the life of an international reporter. The itinerary takes us on a geographical triangle from the hustle of Hanoi, to the serenity of Ha Long Bay and the emerald jungles of Ninh Binh.
Students have taken part in extensive production training to ensure that our skills are adequate ensuring professional television, radio and print news straight from Vietnam daily. Our work will be posted to this website each day and pitched to various media establishments in Vietnam and Australia including Vietnam TV and the ABC.
In the lead up to departure the crew has been preparing intriguing stories with a theme for each day of the trip. There will be a wide variety of stories on Australian initiatives, insights about modern Vietnam and memories from the war. The stories will also look at the relationship between Australia and Vietnam following the release of the Asian Century White Paper by the Federal Government.
There will be challenges, including the language barrier. This weekend we took part in Vietnamese lessons from one of the school’s visiting students to assist with this. Although extensive preparations have been made, the culture and nature of journalism within Vietnam is very different to Australia and that will no doubt prove challenging.
It is now time for us to put the theory we have learnt during our time at UQ into practice. Needless to say, the crew is extremely excited as we anxiously await the departure date. We are also very grateful to the School of Journalism and Communication, DEEWR and the staff for making the VPR a reality. With various Australian media outlets already interested in our trip and our reporting, it is sure to be an invaluable learning experience in modern journalism for all involved.