Associate professor Anthony Fargo has produced research that helped to change defamation laws in the Caribbean, given presentations about whistleblowers to the United Nations and travelled to places such as Jordan and Austria to discuss media law. Now, he is helping students make a similar impact through international internships.
Fargo, who also is director of Indiana University’s Center for International Media Law and Policy Studies, has made a gift to the school to set up the International Press Freedom Scholarship Fund. It will help Media School students pursue internships at international press freedom organizations. The gift also is part of IU’s Bicentennial Campaign, and it qualifies for a university match.
“It occurred to me that because I feel press freedom is a worthy project and internships have been a wonderful experience for students, I would put my money where my mouth is and permanently endow the scholarship,” Fargo said. “The match from the university’s campaign was a catalyst for my contribution.”
This gift, however, is not the first step Fargo has taken to help students gain experience in press freedom organizations. Several graduate students worked with him on defamation law research, and he has worked with the International Press Institute in Vienna, Austria, to provide the organization with IU student interns each summer. IPI is a group of journalists, media executives and scholars from nearly 100 countries who aim to enable the free flow of news around the world.
IU interns help with outreach, maintain social media, research and write web stories, and produce videos for the organization. The hands-on work and real-world experiences the internship provides is the reason Fargo decided to fund an internship rather than a traditional academic scholarship. IPI will work with some of the students who receive Fargo’s scholarship.
“Internships are valuable for giving students experiences with challenges that journalists face around the world,” he said.
Beyond learning practical skills that will help students further their education and kick-start their careers, internships at international press freedom organizations provide them with insight into the world that will teach them to be better citizens, according to Fargo.
“It’s often hard for Americans to fully grasp how lucky we are to have the constitutional protections that our press enjoys,” Fargo said. “As media becomes increasingly global, it is becoming increasingly crucial that students understand the environment the press operates in around the world.”