Fulbright Specialist, Doug Mitchell

December 14, 2012

My name's Doug Mitchell and I'm originally from Stillwater, Oklahoma currently living in suburban Washington, DC and I spent about thirty years in public radio. I'm a practitioner, you know, I use my hands I consider journalism a trade and so what I wanted to do is take what I know to another country and say this is how we do it, this is why we have, for better for worse, the media that we have here in the US, and there's a reason why people are attracted to it.

I think it is really important in public broadcasting, not for profit media. I think it is really important to say you can do good work and you don't have to get rich doing it. In 2007 I applied for the Fulbright Senior Specialist Program and I was accepted and I went to Chile for six weeks by the time I had gone off to Chile the first time, I had already spent a couple of years working with students on projects. I would go to the National Association of Black Journalists Conference and I started a radio training project for the conference as part of a diversity initiative for NPR and so by the time I actually got to two thousand seven going to Fulbright, I had twelve to thirteen years of working on various projects with college students training them on how to become public radio journalists I went back to the same school that I went to two previous times and help them launch an internet radio station, which is still on the air
if you look on the Facebook page for "radiouc" that's the name of the radio station. It's online it's a dot CL you can click on it, it's streaming you can hear it.

They've got really a lot of great programming. It's still college radio but it's a sort of a higher level of college radio I went there initially to introduce the notion of public radio and the questions I got about people write a check and send it in for radio? Radio's free why would they pay for radio?

It went from those questions to, in 2007 under Fulbright, to being the, if you will, consultant to helping them program their curriculum, program the station and fold it into the curriculum of the teaching of journalism school but if it was really unique I could see the evolution of the work I was doing. It was
and I think it's because if you maintain relationships with people over a period of time and everybody's investing in getting to whatever that next step is going to be it will actually happen, you just need the consistency and I was very eager to get back and see that it went from the showing them about how to hold a microphone and talk about not for profit public broadcasting to let's put up an internet radio station because we can and the enthusiasm there was great. Everything I do now is the result of having made some sort of personal contact with whether it's a student or an early, mid, or late career professional
it's about sharing information that's the impact I think on myself and on them and that is really about the personal connection that was made through the Fulbright to where people feel like that we can just talk to each other at any point and time is elastic and as far as the school's concern, the host institution
a lot of the professors there have now moved into multimedia they ask me a lot of questions.

One of the professors, Eduardo Arriagada, has come to CUNY the City University of New York graduate school, where we're sitting right now, has talked to some of my colleagues here as he tries to gather information to take it back to his school in Santiago and I connected him in that way so I think this is like a huge diplomatic mission where you're flying back and forth and exchanging information and you're sharing information and you're willingly doing that because as we say all the boats rise.

I think the Fulbright enabled me to feel like I was really valuable in a lot of ways that what i knew other people wanted to know as well that's what Fulbright is all about what can I do to effect change. Can I do anything to effect change? So let me apply to this program get sponsored to go somewhere and pull something out that I can actually turn around and give to someone else as I comeback to my home country I think that's why we do it.