GUTV’s Istanbul roster at full strength

Group shot at Yeditepe University

And now we are 8. Yesterday Matt, Levi, Ana, Matevz and Fr. Peter met the Turkish students who will help us tell our digital media stories in Istanbul.

The new additions are Meral Guler and Feryade Tokan. Meral is an undergrad at Yeditepe University in Istanbul. Feryade is a PhD candidate. Both study Journalism, and both complete our group nicely. Their professor, Dr. Izzet Bozkurt, is just to the left of me.

Yeditepe University, Istanbul

They were wonderful hosts yesterday as we got to learn all about the Turkish college system. Yeditepe has around 17,000 students; 400 in the Journalism program. Not surprisingly, we were most interested in their Radio/TV department.

Matt Wintheiser is working on that story but we won’t be able to post his video for about a week. Why? We’ve been using YouTube to let you see our work, but YouTube is banned in Turkey. Congratulations to AnnaMaria Di Pietro (one of my favorite Gonzaga student names to say) for getting that answer correct. AnnaMaria, since you already have an Ask Professor Dan shirt, I’ll bring you a shirt from Turkey. Here’s a link to a Radio Free Europe story about the reason for the YouTube ban.

No YouTube/no worries, though. We’ll return to Slovenia in 4 days where we’ll begin editing our stories. We hope to have them up by the end of May.

You can expect to see stories of the beautiful Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sofia, Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, and whatever else strikes us about this incredible city.

An old friend of mine will join us tonight; Aydin Aygun, the owner of Eon Tours, our host in Turkey. This is a picture of Aydin and me when I was working on a shoot here two years ago.

Aydin is my tripod

I always tell my students ‘The world is your tripod’. Apparently, so is Aydin. He really is a great friend; without his support and the support of Don Herak, this trip simply would not have been possible. He truly believes this kind of exchange between our countries can be the basis for creating a more peaceful world tomorrow. I’m crazy enough to agree. Aydin is taking our group to dinner tonight at an Istanbul hotspot…I can’t wait to show you pictures of that.

Our GUTV Lanyard of the Day went to Prof. Bozkurt. He’s the chair of the Journalism Department and studied at Northwestern University in Chicago.

Levi presents Dr. Bozkurt with the GUTV Lanyard of the Day

His background is in marketing, and interestingly enough he’s applying his expertise to marketing his own country. As he told me: “If you don’t define yourself, someone else will…and you might not agree with the definition.” He’s working on sharing his definition of Turkey with the rest of the world.

Dr. Izzet Bozkurt

Special thanks to KREM 2 News in Spokane for taking interest in our project. We did a live phone interview with them yesterday morning. Well, morning for them, afternoon for us. As Sten and Laura were beginning their day, we were ending ours.

On to viewer comments. The first comes from a GUTV alumna now working professionally at a TV station in Colorado.

I read your blog with excitement and a bit of jealousy. If only Dan had come up with this brilliant idea when I was a student. In our increasingly global workplace, I think it paramount for visual storytellers to appreciate the connectedness of our world. While this project seems like a blast, the value of learning firsthand about the similarities in our cultures cannot be quantified. Not only are you sharing a valuable skill, but you are acting as ambassadors from the US and from Gonzaga. I’m sure the impression you are leaving is a great one.As a visual storyteller myself, I can attest to the importance of knowing and feeling comfortable using a wide range of mediums. Facebook, twitter, blogging, and traditional news websites are just a few of the mediums that I work on in addition to creating videos for daily newscasts. This project is giving students experience with the same tools they will be expected to master at any news organization throughout the country. Props to Gonzaga, Professor Dan, and the students who have taken the time to make this homework assignment a reality. I look forward to future installments


Another comment comes from another TV professional and adjunct professor at GU, Mike Lavelle.

Very nice looking stories gang! I can’t believe the quality of the Kodak cams. The “Cribs” story was well edited with nice audio. It would be interesting for viewers to see the process of putting a story together, converting it and posting it on the web. Any special challenges because of the location or is the Internet truely borderless? I also enjoyed the first story with the people walking thru the shot! Very fun! Keep up the good work and lets see as much of the beauty of the countries as possible.

It’s not completely borderless Mike, but communication has a way of adapting despite governmental controls. Prof. Bozkurt told us that most young Turks use proxy servers to circumvent the ban. Nothing, it seems, can get in the way of someone who really wants to see ‘Charlie bit me’ if they really put their mind to it. Search for that one on YouTube and you’ll see what I mean.

Thanks so much for taking the time to check out our work, and I’ll try to keep you updated about when the final projects are done. Now it’s off to the Blue Mosque and Grand Bazaar…I have a shirt to buy!

  1. patrick olson’s avatar

    Well – crossing the cyber world via u tube is like crossing the river sphinx >>> looking forward to reading about the underlying logic. nevertheless the real deal rolls on …. Dialectic encounter engaging concrete and particular individuals in that very same milieu; it fruit is greater understanding – a cure for narrow thinking or xenophobia.

    really enjoyed the 1st day in Istanbul’s reflection. this seems like a healthy exercise.

    enjoy and Inshallah more good will come.

    Hello Aydin how is the international class?

    best bro p

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