Backpack Journalism at Creighton University is a collaboration between the Theology Department and the Journalism, Media, & Computing Department. It came about because of a theologian interested in social justice and filmmaking and a journalist and an artist interested in filmmaking and social justice.
Each summer, a small group of students travels to a community in search of a story. Led by professors Dr. John O’Keefe, Tim Guthrie, and Carol Zuegner, the students immerse themselves in the communities, interviewing, filming, recording, and writing. When they return to Creighton, they take the stories they have collected and develop them into a short documentary film. The Backpack Journalism documentaries have been accepted at several film festivals, including the Omaha Film Festival. The class has traveled to such far-flung places as the Dominican Republic and Uganda, Bethel Alaska and Nogales Arizona/Sonora. The next project is tentatively planned for Northern Uganda in 2018.
Find out more about the Creighton Backpack plans for Alaska 2014 and how you can be a part of those plans at a meeting, 4 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 7 in Creighton’s Hitchcock Building, Room 305.
We’ll talk about details of the trip and how you can start the application process. The five-week, six-credit course will take a team of students and faculty to shoot and edit a short documentary as well as write and produce other multimedia content. The collaboration between the Theology and Journalism, Media and Computing departments also includes a theology component on the role of the church in Alaska. The course will begin in late May. It starts with a video/writing bootcamp and includes about two weeks in Bethel, Alaska. We return to put together a rough cut of the film and wrap up the course.
Creighton students receive six hours of credit, one a 300-level theology class and a certified writing feature writing class.
For more details, come to the meeting. If you can’t make it, please firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com if you’re interested in the experience.
In the summer of 2014 the Backpack Journalism Project will travel to the town of Bethel in remote south-western Alaska. Bethel is home to the Yup’ik people, one of the largest native groups in Alaska. The region suffers from some of the worst rural poverty in the United States. This poverty is made worse by isolation, extreme temperatures in the winter, and the enormous cost of goods and services. Many of these people live without electricity or running water and rely heavily on subsistence fishing, hunting, and berry picking. All of this takes place in the context of a wild and largely intact tundra wilderness, which is currently threatened by planetary warming.
In this project we will explore themes key to the Backpack Journalism Project including the relationship of the Church to culture and the injustice of poverty. This summer we add as well the impact of climate change both on a sensitive region of the earth and on some of the world’s poorest citizens.