Reporting War and Peace in Okinawa

Go on a reporting mission to Okinawa to tell the stories of the effect of U.S. military presence on this Japanese island. Reporting War and Peace in Okinawa is a four-credit, semester-long course during spring semester that trains students in international reporting. The class includes spring break travel to the island of Okinawa, Japan.

From left, Abby Urbanek, Cody Smith, Sydney DeLong and Regina Mack interview protester Hiroko Oshiro. (Tianyu Wang | The Media School)

Taught by professor of practice Joe Coleman, former Tokyo bureau chief for the Associated Press, the course will introduce students to the tools and methods of foreign correspondents, with particular attention to coverage of Asia, a rapidly growing and increasingly dynamic – and turbulent – part of the world. Students will learn about U.S.-Japanese relations, the U.S. military posture in Asia, Okinawan culture and the reporting of war memory.

Students will produce feature reports on interviews with Okinawa residents, U.S. officials in Japan, survivors of the Battle of Okinawa and activists. Students will use text, still photos, audio and video produced into multimedia packages presented on The Media School’s website and other publication outlets.

To apply for the course, you must:

  • be on track to be a sophomore by credit hours (30 hours completed) by the end of fall 2018 semester, or be a master’s student.
  • have a 3.0 cumulative GPA.
  • be on track to be admitted to The Media School by the end of the fall 2018 semester.
  • be on track to have completed MSCH-C225 by the end of the fall 2018 semester. Instructor will consider other production/reporting courses to be substituted as a prerequisite on a case-by-case basis.

Class schedule
1-2:15 p.m. Mondays/Wednesdays


The Media School provides a scholarship to all students admitted to this course to lower the course fee that is assessed for travel.

Full program cost: $4,100
Scholarship: $1,025
Course fee after scholarship: $3,075

The course fee covers round-trip transportation from Bloomington, lodging, all required activities, health insurance and some meals. We recommend students also have $200-$400 available during the trip to cover meals and personal expenses. These costs can be reduced through other scholarships and grants, such as the Hutton International Experiences grant.