Foreign study tours for student journalists: cross-cultural learning and education


Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookConference contributionpeer-review


Studies conducted over many years have consistently shown that a significant proportion of Australians hold negative attitudes towards Arabs and Muslims. These attitudes are driven by, among other things, fear of terrorism and anxiety about cultural incompatibility, and a conflation of the Middle East as a region, Arabs as a people, and Islam and a religion. At the same time, Australian news media tends to report on the Middle East and related topics through a narrow frame of conflict, terror and extremism, and often after similarly conflating region, race and religion. Given that much of citizens’ exposure to foreign cultures is through the news media, the negative effect on cross-cultural understanding between Australia and the Middle East caused by such reporting is significant. A range of educational and informational programs, past and present, have attempted to address this problem and disrupt journalists’ cascade of assumptions and conflation of associations, with the intention of inspiring more nuanced, informed and diverse journalism about the Middle East and related matters. This paper presents the findings of research into one such program: a mid-2016 study tour for Australian journalism students to the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. At the end of a 17-day professional and cultural program, the participating students returned to Australia with deeper, more critical understandings of the Middle East and related matters across cognitive, behavioural and affective dimensions, along with an intention to use the lessons learned on tour to inform the work they produce throughout their careers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationANZCA Conference Proceedings 2017
EditorsFiona Martin
Place of PublicationAustralia
PublisherAustralian and New Zealand Communication Association
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventANZCA 2017 Communication Worlds: Access, Voice, Diversity, Engagement - University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
Duration: 5 Jul 20177 Jul 2017

Publication series

Name2017 ANZCA Conference Proceedings
PublisherAustralian and New Zealand Communication Association
ISSN (Print)1448-4331


ConferenceANZCA 2017 Communication Worlds
Internet address


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