With final projects and exams looming and summer following tantalizingly close behind, most students are probably thinking about the final push to obtain desired grades, or the vacations, summer jobs or internships that will soon begin.
Matthew Bishop though, a junior at Ohio University, has one other significant matter on his mind: spearheading a new, internationally focused, online news network.
Bishop began brainstorming ideas for what shortly came to be called World Report about a month ago and has achieved enough headway since that he will be set to launch June 15.
“Personally,” he says, “what made me start World Report was the realization that I love writing about foreign policy. Then I realized that I, like the vast, vast majority of students across America, lacked a formal environment to share and discuss my views and to analyze and think about events taking place around the world.”
Entirely student-led, World Report, located at WorldReportNews.com, will publish articles about situations in every major region of the world and, most importantly, serve as an outlet for students to connect to international events in a medium far different from academics.
To write a paper on a topic for class is one matter; to publish on a subject for the sake of pure intellectual curiosity and development is quite another, for the latter allows students to engage in issues in a very personal and connected manner.
Bishop hopes that World Report’s audience will include not only students but community members as well. He realizes that “those outside the academic life whose access to materials concerning international affairs is often limited to main media outlet news sources” often do not have the opportunity to see all sides of an issue.
His new outlet will provide another viewpoint on topics of concern in the hopes that readers will then be able to form their own opinions based upon well-rounded knowledge.
This is not to say that World Report is seeking objectivity. On the contrary, “World Report acknowledges that objective journalism can quickly turn into a subterfuge for inaction and takes a more pro-advocacy stance.”
Bishop hopes that such a stance will act as a catalyst for constructive dialogue about worldwide events or at least remind people that it is possible to take an active part in international affairs.
Ever-ambitious, Bishop hopes to shortly expand to other campuses as well, such as Stanford and the University of Pennsylvania, in an attempt to engage as many communities as possible in his effort.
For now, though, he is still seeking writers on Ohio University’s campus in every regional and thematic area. If interested, contact Bishop at email@example.com
One of the most valuable aspects of World Report is that, “being not-for-profit and not having to answer to any large corporate interests,” the network can unashamedly blend news and opinion with academic legitimacy in order to create unique viewpoints.
So as the year winds down and summer plans are cemented, do not place larger concerns on a backburner; rather, make the effort to recognize your own connection to the international community, realize that your opinions on the world do have merit, and if you are feeling really ambitious, publish them.
Allison Hight is a sophomore studying English and a columnist for The Post. What do you think of the new blog? Email Allison at firstname.lastname@example.org.