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Communication Professor Serves As Fulbright Scholar In Swaziland

Dr. Jon M. Smith, communication professor at Southern Utah University, is working as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Swaziland (UNISWA) in the Kingdom of Swaziland in southern Africa. Smith was awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to lecture at the university and conduct research and video documentary production at the University of Swaziland-Kwaluseni during the 2011-2012 school year. Smith, a former SUU communication department chair, began teaching in Swaziland in August 2011 and is on sabbatical leave from SUU during this assignment. He will return to SUU in August 2012.

In Swaziland Smith has been teaching journalism and broadcasting classes to sophomores and juniors in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication. He introduced his students to television news production and, for the first time ever, provided video coverage of the university's annual graduation, involving the country's ruling monarch, King Mswati III.

Smith arranged for first-ever student media credentials and security clearance for students to cover the event. A video showing UNISWA students covering graduation can be seen at: youtube.com/watch?v=0WP84h1l7uE.

Part of Smith's Fulbright assignment involves providing consultation to the media industry. While there is one independent newspaper in the country, there is one state-controlled newspaper and only one government-run television station and two government-run radio stations. Smith has had open discussions with industry professionals, his department colleagues and students regarding state-controlled media.

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