School of Communications sponsored a panel discussion titled "Cultural
Issues in International Journalism" Sept. 18 in Yeager Recital
Moderator Brad Hamm led a discussion of the important cultural issues
in international journalism and information technology.
Loren Burlando, a producer for NBC Dateline International in New
York, and Johanna Rautasalo, marketing manager for Nokia Mobile
Software in Helsinki, Finland, are Elon alumnae.
Topics covered included mass communication within multicultural/international
environments, cultural content influence of the United States, the
global village created by communications technology and the importance
of international perspectives for university students interested
in today's media world.
are strong advocates of an international education.
is a great learning experience," said Rautasalo, a native of
Finland, "but you don't have to travel to learn about different
cultures. You can read, listen to music, see art."
as a documentary film assistant at the University of London while
she was an Elon student. She said that experience was a turning
point in her education.
over there and it changed my life," she explained. "You
mature on an adventure like that. You have to navigate. You have
to be flexible - you deal with missed trains, for instance, end
up in Rome and have to find your way back. That happened to me.
You deal with languages and cultural differences."
students to immerse themselves in global cultures. "Explore
and learn any way you can about other countries," she said.
"There is a lot of cross-cultural communication in media and
business relationships today. Before you meet someone from another
place, learn about the country they're coming from. Be observant
and don't assume. Ask. It all adds value - becoming more aware."
She also encouraged
students to read a daily newspaper. "It's the one thing I wish
I had done as a student," she said. "I start my mornings
in Helsinki with the newspaper. If I didn't read it, I would have
no world view - only my narrow knowledge of what I personally experience.
I read and I realize there are many problems. It's a daily way to
put life in perspective."
The women both
had transition jobs before they were able to attain their career
goals. Rautasalo worked for a year at Duke University's International
House before she found her ideal international corporate communications
position with Nokia.
in several low-respect or low-pay positions, including NBC's "page"
program in New York, immediately after graduation from Elon. "You
wear hot, polyester suits, give tours of the studios and make no
money, but it's a foot in the door," she said of the page program
that built her connections at NBC. "It allows you to network
and let people see your smiling face, your energy and your ability."
After eight months as a page, she moved up to her current position
as a producer working behind the scenes for anchorman Stone Phillips
and others at "Dateline."
Phillips cut a
tape for Burlando that was aired at the event. In it he urged Elon
students to "ask Loren some tough questions." After the
panel discussion, dozens of students crowded the front of the hall,
lined up to ask both Burlando and Rautasalo incisive questions about