2014 News Archive

December 16, 2014

GCJD Tackles Race

With racial tensions increasing across the nation, the Global Center decided to tackle the issue of race head on. GCJD workshop students wrote a series of articles as part of an  effort to raise awareness of race relations and diversity on the campus of Sam Houston State University.

Read more>>

December 8, 2014

GCJD Class Spotlight- Fall 2014

The Global Center Workshop Class, taught each semester by Kelli Arena, gives students the opportunity to participate in the daily activities of the Center, and to propose ideas and projects to work on as a class. Structured as a project-based learning course, the students collaborate with GCJD staff to bring their ideas to fruition.

Read more>>

December 3, 2014

“Dear White People” Review

The Sam Houston State University Global Center for Journalism and Democracy hosted a movie screening of the satirically provocative film “Dear White People.” The film explores several controversial topics such as, racial identity in a new aged “post-racial” America and racial politics at a predominately white University.

Read more>>

December 3, 2014

GCJD brings race discussion to campus

Three days of events focused on confronting racial issues have been brought to campus by the Global Center for Journalism and Democracy. The center hosted a screening of “Dear White People,” the winner of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival’s Special Jury Award. The satirical comedy-drama chronicles the relationships between racial groups at the fictional Winchester University, an Ivy League-style institution..

Read more>>

October 30, 2014

Asia Matters: A Year After Haiyan, Hawaii Still Shows Aloha for Philippines

GCJD trainer Bill Dorman discusses Haiyan, one year later. Some call it the Black Wind. Each autumn it brings punishing storms to the Visayas, a handful of islands scattered around the eastern Philippines. The Black Wind carries torrential rain and intense gusts, and on Nov. 8, 2013, it barreled through the islands with the most powerful sustained winds ever recorded on land — nearly 200 miles an hour.

Read more>>

October 16, 2014

In it to end it

Sam Houston State University students and audience members alike experienced an emotional wake up call yesterday as author Shyima Hall spoke of her personal experience as a modern-day slave. The Global Center for Journalism and Democracy presented the program as part of their involvement with the End It Movement, a national social media effort to end modern-day slavery.

Read more on the Houstonian Online>>

October 16, 2014

Shyima Hall speaks of overcoming betrayal and moving forward

Betrayal in any form hurts, but when it’s your own parents who betray your trust it can cut you to the core. This was the story of Shyima Hall who was sold by her parents into forced bondage when she was only 8-years-old in Egypt. Hall spoke on Tuesday at the Gaertner Performing Arts Center on Tuesday as part of The Global Center for Journalism and Democracy’s Speaker Series.

Read more>>

October 15, 2014

Former victim of modern-day slavery shares powerful story on SHSU campus

Imagine that you are 8 years old. Your eyes are bright and filled with the joy that only an innocent child can possess. Imagine that you are young again. Now imagine that at that same age, you’re are betrayed by your parents and sold into slavery in order to pay a debt.

Read more on the Item Online>>

October 10, 2014

GCJD joins national movement to end slavery

The Lowman Student Center Mall is home to a variety of student groups presenting a multitude of ideas, interests and issues. From prayer circles and Greek recruitment, to free food and t-shirts, the mall gives a space for groups large and small to spread their influence across campus. However, an area of the mall shifted to a serious tone Wednesday to highlight an issue of which many college students are unaware.

Read  more on the Houstonion Online>>

October 9, 2014

SHSU's Global Center Wants to Help Stop Modern-Day Slavery

Atop a platform in the Lowman Student Center mall area, a man stands partially dressed as his owner attempts to barter for the right price. A large crowd gathers. It’s almost lunchtime on Wednesday and the modern-day slave trade is taking place in broad daylight.

Read more on the Item Online>>

October 6, 2014

GCJD Executive Director Talks About Modern-Day Slavery

Kelli Arena, with the SHSU Global Center for Journalism & Democracy, stopped by BVTM Monday to talk about a guest speaker coming to the Huntsville Campus. The GCJD Guest Speakers Series is presenting Hidden Girl: The True Story of a Modern Day Slave with author and speaker Shyima Hall.

Watch the interview on KBTX>>

September 29, 2014

GCJD Partners with Others to Help Students Vote

With voter registration for mid-term elections closing Oct. 6, a new resource is available to Sam Houston State University students, sponsored by GCJD and the Center for Academic Engagement.

Read more on Houstonian online>>

September 29, 2014

SHSU Student, Monty Sloan, Reflects on Philippines

My ignorance of an entire country, that was once an American colony and both my father and grandfather had visited during their respective wars, was abruptly remedied when I was given the opportunity to visit the country as a guest of the Global Center for Journalism and Democracy.

Read more>>

September 29, 2014

GCJD Participates in PH+Social Good in Philippines

GCJD staffers just returned from the Philippines where they worked with journalists to help them better cover natural disasters. The center teamed up with the Rappler news agency, one of the most widely read online news services in southeast Asia. Training took place in Manila and in Tacloban.

Read more>>

September 25, 2014

GCJD Teams Up with SHSU CCE and TurboVote

GCJD wants SHSU students to vote and we've taken steps to make it easier! GCJD has teamed up with the Center for Community Engagement to offer students a free membership on TurboVote.

Read more>>

September 17, 2014

Are journalists equipped with the right skills?

MANILA, Philippines – With thousands of people aspiring to work in the media industry, getting hired and being part of it is not easy. But being equipped with the right skills will help you. GCJD Executive Director, along with 5 other panelists discussed the future of journalism and how aspiring journalists will need to adapt. “You have to be curious and change. Technology will change,” Arena said.

Read more from inquirer.net>>

September 11, 2014

Mind-set, not daily lives, forever changed by Sept. 11 attacks

The horrific events of Sept. 11, 2001 will be a glaring scar on the United States for the rest of time. It ranks with the likes of Pearl Harbor, the John F. Kennedy assassination and the Oklahoma City bombings.

Read more>>

August 12, 2014

GCJD and SKF Continue Oil and Gas Training Program

Journalists who have never covered the energy beat are grappling with reporting on the sector after the discovery of gas and oil reserves in the eastern Mediterranean. The issue is extremely complex in an already troubled region as rival countries try to capitalize on the newfound resources. The Global Center for Journalism and Democracy (GCJD) and The Samir Kassir Foundation (SKF) continue to work together to help journalists in the region accurately and effectively cover this nascent sector.

Read more>>

August 8, 2014

GCJD Workshop Receives Coverage in Lebanon

On August 8, three daily Arabic language newspapers in Lebanon wrote about the Global Center for Journalism and Democracy's journalism training for reporters covering the oil an gas sector in the Levant region. The workshop is co-led by GCJD's partner, The Samir Kassir Foundation.


Al-Liwaa >>


August 8, 2014

GCJD Appears on Prime Time News for Work in Levant Region

GCJD's ongoing workshop to improve coverage on the oil and gas sector in Lebanon was featured on leading independent media outlet, MTV-Lebanon this week. The workshop is one of many projects that GCJD provides in partnership with The Samir Kassir Foundation to aid journalists in the region.

Watch on MTVNews>>

August 7, 2014

LBCI Covers GCJD Workshop in Beirut

GCJD's ongoing collaboration with the Samir Kassir Foundation to provide more accurate and ethical coverage on the oil and gas sector in Beirut received the attention of Lebanese Media this week.

Watch LBCI News Report>>

July 18, 2014

GCJD Selects Ingrid Bolanos for Fall 2014 Internship

GCJD is pleased to announce Ingrid Bolanos has been selected as the Fall 2014 GCJD intern.

Read more>>

July 16, 2014

GCJD Celebrates 25th Anniversary of Polish Democracy with 3-Day Journalism Workshop in Poland

As Poland celebrates 25 years of Democracy, the time was right to assess how journalists in the country are doing and help them prepare for challenges to come. For three days in early July, the Global Center for Journalism and Democracy (GCJD) had the opportunity to work with Polish professional and student journalists to share best practices of the essential role journalists play in an open and democratic society. For this project, GCJD focused on local journalism, and put together a team of experts to work with journalists who routinely cover the flow of European Union (EU) funds from the central government to local communities.

Read more>>

Watch the Video>>

July 11, 2014

American and Polish Journalists on a workshop in Chmielnik

The three-day Polish-American workshop for journalists and students of journalism took place in Kielce and in Chmielnik on July 1-3. The theoretical part started at Jan Kochanowski University in Kielce. In Chmielnik, the participants learned about learned about transformations in the town, which were done thanks to the EU grants - including Education-Museum Center ''Świętokrzyski Shtetl''. They also took part in practical activities. Journalists worked for two days in Cultural Center in Chmielnik.

Read more>>

Watch the Video>>

July 5, 2014

Świat na wskroś

Reporters Bartłomiej Zapała; Włodzimierz Batóg on Świat na wskroś discuss GCJD's recent partnership with Jan Kochanowski University (JKU) in Kielce, Poland. The workshop included professional journalists from three news organizations, journalism students from JKU, and local NGO representatives that do development work in the region with EU funds. The professionals discussed cutting edge technology, how to accurately decipher data, hold local officials accountable, navigate the social media landscape, and develop and protect sources.

Read more>>

July 3, 2014

Dobiegają końca polsko-amerykańskie warsztaty dla dziennikarzy

W Chmielniku dobiegają końca trzydniowe polsko-amerykańskie warsztaty dla dziennikarzy i studentów dziennikarstwa. Zajęcia prowadzili reporterzy CNN, CNBC i wykładowcy Sam Houston State University oraz Arizona State University.

Read more>>

July 1, 2014

Polsko-amerykańskie warsztaty dziennikarskie na UJK

Trzydniowe polsko-amerykańskie warsztaty dla dziennikarzy i studentów dziennikarstwa rozpoczęły się na Uniwersytecie Jana Kochanowskiego. Do Kielc przyjechali reporterzy CNN, CNBC i wykładowcy Sam Houston State University oraz Arizona State University.

Read more>>

June 16, 2014

VIDEO: Art in Beirut – Gallery Owner on a Mission, Nadine Begdache

I recently was asked to travel to Beirut, Lebanon to give hands-on training to Middle Eastern print and online journalists on how to add video to their stories.The invitation by the Global Center for Journalism and Democracy and the Samir Kassir Foundation afforded me the wonderful opportunity to stay in Lebanon for several extra days to shoot videos of my own for Blouin ARTINFO.

Read more>>

June 10, 2014

GCJD Heads back to Beirut to Continue Working with Journalists Covering the Oil and Gas Sector

GCJD will be heading back to Beirut to work with journalists to improve coverage of the oil and gas sector. A study performed by GCJD partner, the Samir Kassir Foundation, reveals that journalists in the region routinely make mistakes and misinterpret information when reporting on the sector.

Read more>>

June 3, 2014

GCJD Returns from Successful Second Program in Tunisia

Tunisian citizens want better communication from political leaders to help them understand the new constitution and the steps being taken toward the next elections, according to GCJD partner NDI. This created a perfect opportunity for the Global Center for Journalism and Democracy to travel to Tunisia to work with political parties to improve communication strategies in partnership with NDI for the second time in two years.

Read more>>

June 2, 2014

Reflections of a GCJD Trainer (in French)

French political communications expert, Ziad Gebran, recently traveled to Tunisia with GCJD Executive Director Kelli Arena to work with political parties to improve communication strategies. He reflects on the experience and the political landscape in Tunisia through his blog.

Read more (in French)>>

May 23, 2014

GCJD Receives Grant From Headliners Foundation

The Global Center for Journalism and Democracy is the first recipient of the Headliners Foundation Special Project Fund. The Foundation’s Special Projects Fund, which was made possible by the bequest of Headliners Club member Wilmot Horton, awards grants for journalism-related projects that support the Foundation’s mission, with an emphasis on training and education. During a 3-day workshop in Poland, GCJD will work with journalists to educate them about their role in society, specifically as it relates to small communities and local journalism.

Read more>>

May 14, 2014

GCJD Continues Mission in Tunisia

The Global Center will be in Tunis to help political parties define their platforms and communicate goals to the public. Joining forces with the National Democratic Institute , GCJD will host a conference May 23-26 in Tunis on effective communication strategies for political parties as they make the country prepares for parliamentary and presidential elections this November.

Read more>>

May 9, 2014

TPR Highlights GCJD Work in 5-Part Series

TPR reporter Jack Morgan recently traveled to Beirut with GCJD as a trainer. After the conference, he hit the streets to talk to the locals and get a sense of the arts scene first-hand. The result is a 5-part series, airing now on Texas Public Radio.

Read more and listen to all 5 segments>>

May 8, 2014

Beirut Part 4: A "Rich, Painful, Complicated" History

Jack Morgan spent six days in Beirut, Lebanon, recently, the first two to speak at a conference of arts and culture reporters hosted by GCJD and the Samir Kassir Foundation. Hungry for stories after the conference concluded, Jack found a city of interesting people- all of whom had either lived through the war or fled for their safety.

Listen to Beirut: Part 4 by Jack Morgan on TPR>>

May 8, 2014

Taking it out of the Classroom- Students Write About Traveling with GCJD

GCJD is committed to enhancing the professional preparedness of students at SHSU, and regularly includes them in overseas training programs.

Read more from the students' perspectives>>

May 7, 2014

Beirut Part 3: How the Experience of War Shaped the Art

Jack Morgan spent six days in Beirut, Lebanon, recently, the first two to speak at a conference of arts and culture reporters hosted by GCJD and the Samir Kassir Foundation. He then set out to find arts and culture stories there, but they all seemed to link back to the country’s civil war. It makes sense if you think about it, the war lasted for the 15 years between 1975 and 1990 and is a huge landscape in the Lebanese collective memory.

Listen to Beirut: Part 3 by Jack Morgan on TPR>>

May 6, 2014

Beirut Part 2: What the People Suffered Through

Jack Morgan spent six days in Beirut, Lebanon, recently, the first two to speak at a conference of arts and culture reporters hosted by GCJD and the Samir Kassir Foundation. After the conference, Jack went out to find stories from people in Beirut.

Listen to Beirut: Part 2 by Jack Morgan on TPR>>

May 5, 2014

Beirut: Rediscovering Arts & Culture After A 15-Year Civil War

I got an unexpected international adventure not long ago. Here's how it went down. You may remember Kelli Arena from her decades at CNN as a correspondent who traveled the world. She now lives in Huntsville, Texas, and works at Sam Houston State University.

Listen to Beirut: Part One by Jack Morgan on TPR>>

May 2, 2014

GCJD Stages Dramatic World Press Freedom Day Demonstration

“No Press, No Freedom.” That was just one of the messages boldly written on signs held high by SHSU Mass Communication students, their mouths taped shut, during a dramatic World Press Freedom Day demonstration held Wednesday in the mall area. 


May 1, 2014

GCJD Celebrates World Press Freedom Day

Ninety-nine journalists around the world were killed in 2013 in their pursuit for the truth to educate society of issues and conflicts, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. To commemorate the loss of these journalists, students in the Global Center for Journalism Democracy workshop at Sam Houston State University celebrated World Press Freedom Day Wednesday.



April 30, 2014

World Press Freedom Day to Be Celebrated at SHSU Today

The Executive Director of SHSU’s Global Center for Journalism and Democracy, Kelli Arena, informs us that students enrolled in their workshop class will be participating in a demonstration and memorial to journalists who were killed while doing their jobs last year.

KSAM 101.7 Radio

April 30, 2014

GCJD Workshop Students Participate in World Press Freedom Day

The Global Center for Journalism and Democracy (GCJD) will join universities and organizations around the world to celebrate World Press Freedom Day. The event will take place on the campus mall on April 30th, to reach the largest number of students as possible. The official event is scheduled for May 3rd.


April 29, 2014

GCJD Accepted Into International Media Development Network

The Global Center for Journalism and Democracy (GCJD) has been accepted into an international network dedicated to supporting and creating a free and independent media. Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD) has more than 100 members from around the world involved in assisting the media.


April 12, 2014

Anthony Graves Stuns Audience With Powerful Testimony

The room was completely silent as Anthony Graves described his time in prison for a crime he did not commit. "People often say to me they can't imagine what I went through and I tell them please don't try. Because if you do, you will need counseling."


April 7, 2014

Panel, Concert to Explore Social Justice, Wrongfully Imprisoned

HUNTSVILLE — After 18 years in prison, 12 of which were spent on death row, Anthony Graves was exonerated from the crime he was accused of and freed by the State of Texas in October 2010. Unfortunately, Graves's situation is not unique.

Read more from the Huntsville Item>>

April 7, 2014

SKeyes and GCJD Host a Two-Day Workshop on Cultural Journalism

On March 27-28, 2014, the SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom and the Global Center for Journalism and Democracy (GCJD) organized a training workshop on cultural journalism at the Riviera Hotel in Beirut. Journalists, artists and other professionals from Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Palestine, the UK, the Netherlands, France, Spain and the US attended the event, which was held with support from the European Union.


April 4, 2014

Safe and Sound: Reflection on Lebanon

By Connor Hyde

We landed in the Beirut airport Tuesday as the sun was peeking behind the Mediterranean Sea. As we exited the plane and approached customs, I was unexpectedly at ease walking through an airport 7,000 miles from home. I haven’t flown much before, much less had left the south. Yet, I was content. Read More>>

March 27-28, 2014

Student Travels to Beirut

SHSU Senior Connor Hyde traveled with GCJD to Beirut, Lebanon. GCJD was there to co-host a conference and training sessions for journalists who cover arts and culture. Hyde is the editor of the Houstonian, and wrote about the conference for the student newspaper.

Read More>>

March 27-28, 2014

Arts and Culture Training in Lebanon

GCJD will join the Samir Kassir Foundation to work with journalists from the Levant to help them understand the important role they play when covering the arts and culture beat. Experts from around the globe will share their insights, experience and best practices.

Read More>>

March 4, 2014

Whistle-blower, Jay "Jaybird" Dobyns Talks About His Battle with the Government

He says his government betrayed him. The same government he risked his life for working as an undercover agent for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. After infiltrating the notorious Hells Angels, the mission and his identity were exposed putting not only him, but his wife and children at risk. Dobyns says the ATF ignored his pleas for protection. His only hope? To turn whistle-blower. His only ally? The press.

Read More>>

February 27, 2014

GCJD Teams Up with CMIT for Senior Level Leadership Development Program

The Correctional Management Institute of Texas (CMIT), Sonoma State University, and the Global Center for Journalism and Democracy, have teamed up to develop a unique leadership development program for senior leadership in the correction management field. The program is sculpted to capture and present significant insight and knowledge into the understanding, recognition, and impact of senior level decision making with an emphasis on applying Strategic/Critical based thinking skills with a core focus on the fundamental platform principles associated with Senior Leadership.

February 12, 2014

GCJD Partners with Polish University to Track EU Funds

When money starts flowing into a country from the European Union, who is held accountable to ensure it gets where it needs to go in a fair and equitable manner? Who asks the tough questions to politicians, both national and local, about what projects are funded and why? The answer, of course, is journalists. And that’s where GCJD comes in. The Global Center is partnering with Jan Kochanowski University (JKU) in Kielce, Poland to assist young journalists in following EU money into local communities, and holding officials accountable in the process.

Read More>>

February 4, 2014

Building Healthy Relationships with the Press

Criminal justice professionals and the media both work to serve the public, but that relationship can often be strained. The Global Center for Journalism and Democracy (GCJD) is collaborating with the College of Criminal Justice to help bridge that gap. Led by Executive Director Kelli Arena, a former CNN criminal justice reporter, the GCJD at Sam Houston State University will provide two cross discipline opportunities for criminal justice and journalism students this spring.

Read More>>

January 28, 2014

SHSU Global Center to Kick Off 2014 with the Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas

GCJD will continue to provide crisis communications and other training to law enforcement officials for the Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT). GCJD executive director Kelli Arena covered law enforcement during her years at CNN and will oversee multiple LEMIT training sessions in various Texas cities throughout the year. GCJD aims to educate law enforcement on how to develop a healthy, transparent relationship with the press.

January 2014

GCJD Executive Director Oversees KSHU Anchor Tryouts

Channel 7, Sam Houston State University’s student news broadcast, is searching for its new, up and coming news team.The station is looking to hire two news anchors, a sports anchor and a weather anchor. All four positions are open to all students in the university during tryouts that will be held Feb. 5.

The Houstonian >>