Joseph Treaster speaks about international journalism and the Galapagos Islands

Joseph Treaster. Photo credit:
College of Arts and Sciences,
University of Miami

By Myriann Harden

Joseph Treaster spoke in Old Main Wednesday evening, about teaching at the University of Miami and his travels in the Galapagos Islands.

Treaster works for many publications including, The Huffington Post and The Miami Herald. He is also the editor for the University of Miami’s Internet magazine 1H20.org. The magazine works to promote awareness of the world’s clean water crisis. Treaster holds a chair, and teaches, at the University of Miami. He discussed a trip he takes with some of his students to the Galapagos Islands.
In the summer, Treaster takes a few students from the school of communication, a few students from the school of music and two professors from each department to the Galapagos Islands. The music students go to collect the natural sounds of the environment, like people, animals, so on, and make music out of it. The journalism students learn about how to write clear, concise stories.

“We make them work on the writing,” said Treaster. “So many American students struggle with saying things with few words, uncluttered, simple,”

Treaster showed a slide show of his trips with pictures of the students, faculty and the scenery. He included a pictures of himself with a giant tortoise and pictures of marine iguanas.

Janelly Nava, freshman, said she enjoyed hearing Treaster talk about the islands.

“Getting to see all the beautiful pictures and learning about the different cultures was interesting,” said Nava.

After the slide show Treaster answered some questions about working as an international reporter and professor. One audience member asked what he would recommend for a professor who does not have as much international experience as he does. He said he would recommend making connections with journalists who do have experience. Treaster also talked about teaching journalism in general. He said he really tries to get students to think of stories people will really want to read and that are relavent.

“I do not just say, ‘these are the rules of writing now write an essay,’ I say lets think of something that will be meaningful to an audience about the environment,” said Treaster.

Rut Vargas said she really enjoyed the whole session.

“I have been looking for something that can incorporate tourism, environment and journalism, so he mixes all of those together and I was like ‘wow’,” said Vargas.

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