Reporting from Rome: Journalism in the Eternal City

Rome hosts foreign correspondents from countless news networks and is home to several radio and TV stations, news agencies, and newspapers. This multifaceted world and the role of journalism in modern Italy were the focus of a University of Kansas program in Rome. Under the direction of professor Janet Rose, journalism students from KU spent six weeks in the Eternal City, exploring journalism in Italy through both coursework and course-related visits. 

One of the highlights of the program was a visit to the Rome studios of RAI, Italy’s national public radio and television station. Led by local radio journalist Luigi Spinola, students toured the facilities and studios, while learning about the history of radio and television in Italy, in which RAI played a crucial role. The group visited the set of various programs that made history in Italian radio and TV. 

The culminating moment was the visit to Radio 3 Mondo, a daily program that narrates international affairs by focusing on specific episodes and individuals. The group was granted access to the recording studio while the show was live, being able to observe the director and crew at work. One student then went on to represent the cohort and was interviewed by Spinola as part of the program. Live on national radio, they discussed the experience of studying abroad, and what students plan to achieve by spending time in Rome. The conversation then moved to the different approaches to education abroad between the U.S. and Italy, and how those affect the experience of both students and faculty.  

During their time in Italy, students also had the chance to explore another important aspect of journalism in Rome: reporting news about the Vatican and the Catholic Church. To learn more about this topic, students met with Sean Patrick Lovett, a journalist who has been reporting from Rome for over thirty years. Lovett is the Director of English Programming at Rome Reports, a news agency that specializes in reporting news about the Pope and the Church. Students first had a discussion with Lovett about his experience reporting from the Vatican and the specific challenges of this assignment. He then led them in a tour of the offices of Rome Reports, discussing the role of the agency in international journalism and meeting some of its reporters.  

Thanks to these visits with journalists operating in Rome, students gained direct insight into the world of news reporting in Rome. They learned about the role of media in Italy and observed closely how professional reporters work in a different country, an important cross-cultural experience that will inform their future studies and professional development in the U.S. 

Accent has extensive resources and experience in creating customized semester and quarter programs in Rome, including a wide network of local professionals and institutions in the field of journalism, communication, and media.