This post was originally published on the Melton Foundation blog and is republished on Global Voices with permission. Articles from the first round of the Global Voices-Melton Mentoring partnership can be found here.
Have you heard the term “Love Jihad”? Did you know that social unrest has been a recurring topic in Latin American football World Cup events? Ever wondered how spouses of immigrant workers fare in the United States? Why do some areas in China have more of an advantage than others in higher education testing?
For the second year in a row, a team of fellows from the Melton Foundation (MF) has put global citizenship values into action through citizen journalism, giving a voice to those who are not heard. Melton Fellows partnered with mentors from Global Voices to learn how to write and publish for a journalistic outlet.
The current mentoring period stretched from April to September 2014. The team decided to focus on inequality and discrimination as the theme for this period. All articles written for this project are accessible here.
- Nickhil Sharma (Sept. 29, 2014): ‘Love Jihad’ in India: Reality, Myth, or Simply a Case of Political Rabble-Rousing?
- Tejasvini Prasad (Sept. 12, 2014): How the United States H4 Visa Traps Foreign Workers’ Family Members in a ‘Golden Cage’
- Nickhil Sharma (Aug. 26, 2014): India's LGBT Community Dares to Hope After Health Minister's Comment on Gay Rights
- Javiera Muñoz (August 7 2014): Latin America's World Cup Lessons (Originally written and published in Spanish: Cómo influye el contexto social y político en las copas del mundo en América Latina)
- Javiera Muñoz (August 1 2014): Loved Brazil’s 2014 World Cup? The Five-Time-Champion Nation Wasn’t So Thrilled (Originally written and published in Spanish: Qué tienen en común las Copas del Mundo en América Latina?)
- Tejasvini Prasad (July 26 2014): Indians Are Using Social Media to Tackle Racism Against Northeasterners
- Tejasvini Prasad (June 21 2014): The United States’ Gender Pay Gap Through the Lens of Social Media
- Qin Xing (June 16 2014): Why Some Students Migrate to Beat China's ‘Unfair’ University Entrance Exam
Not all of the fellows managed to meet the goal of writing three articles for Global Voices, realizing that journalistic writing is more difficult than expected. Still, the project as a whole offered a unique learning opportunity for all those involved.
Tejasvini Prasad, an Indian Melton Fellow living in the US, described her experience:
The project was fun and enlightening. The GV team holds writers to journalistic standards, so both sides of the story must be told, quotes sourced properly and the writers’ opinion kept to a minimum. This was a new kind of writing for me. The editors were very good and watching the post change through the editing pipeline was also interesting
Xing Qing, a Melton Fellow from China, described the results of the experience as well:
As an engineering student, it was the first time for me to try to collect and reflect on Chinese current affairs, which was really amazing to me. I gradually achieved the spirit of a journalist, and now pay more attention to what happens around me, and think about reasons and solutions. Global Voice was an extraordinary experience for me.
Melton Fellows were also able to form new connections across boundaries. Nickhil Sharma said:
Recently, when we celebrated Diwali in India, the Pakistani authors exchanged warm greetings with us! This was wonderful for me personally. It made me realize that differences can be resolved when we bring out the common goals and interests in us.
While the mentoring period is over, team members are planning to stay active on the Global Voices platform. Look for updates on their future projects.
The team included Melton Fellows (MF) from different countries and mentors from the Global Voices (GV) network:
- Xing Qin (MF, China) and Violeta Camarasa (GV, Hong Kong)
- Javiera Muñoz (MF, Chile) and Andrea Arzaba (GV, Mexico)
- Tejasvini Prasad (MF, India) and Inji Pennu (GV, India)
- Nickhil Sharma (MF, India) and Aparna Ray (GV, India)
- Chenlin Wang (MF, China) and Abby (GV, China)