The activity was part of a seventh grade communication studies unit on journalism.
Marsh, a freelance journalist based in Turkey, spoke with students for approximately an hour. He discussed such topics as how he got his start in journalism, what living in Turkey has been like and which of his news stories are his favorites. He also spoke to the students about pursuing a career in journalism, as it is a challenging and ever-changing vocation.
Marsh also spoke at length about freedom of the press and what it’s like to live in a country that doesn’t have a free press. He told students that it’s not unusual in Turkey for a journalist to be jailed for writing a story the government didn’t approve. Marsh went on to remind the students to appreciate the freedom of speech they enjoy in the United States because not all countries have that right.
Also on the agenda for the day was a discussion of the European refugee crisis. Since Turkey and Syria share a border, Marsh has seen first-hand refugees coming in from war-torn countries like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Marsh, who had been in Turkey for 10 months, also told the students that Turkey, like many countries in Europe, has been overwhelmed by the refugee crisis. Turkey has taken in a reported 2 million refugees. The communications students have been following the refugee story closely as part of their daily current event discussions.
Communications studies students learn about a wide array of communications-related topics, such as journalism, public-speaking, advertising, theater arts and movie-making.