Africa in Our Lives: Lindsay Palmer

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“Africa is a vast and culturally diverse continent. Studying Zambia is very different from studying Liberia, for example. Students should keep that in mind.” – L. Palmer (Photo provided by Palmer)

Since beginning her position in the UW-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication this fall, Assistant Professor Lindsay Palmer has not only been impressed with the work of her students, but the autumn colors of the UW-Madison Arboretum.

Field of study: Global Media Ethics (School of Journalism and Mass Communication)
Hometown: Ft. Lauderdale, FL

What brought you to Madison?

A new job as an assistant professor in an amazing department.

What’s your favorite part of the UW-Madison campus?

I love the UW-Madison Arboretum. Especially in October, the colors were amazing!

What is the most thumbed book on your shelf?

Reporting War (Allan and Zelizer), Global Media Ethics: Problems and Perspectives (Ward)

What inspired you to study Africa?

As a graduate student, I was invited to be a PA on an NSF-funded project based in Zambia. I completely fell in love with the area, and now I want to keep working there.

Briefly tell us about your research, as it relates to Africa:

I study the production cultures of journalists in a variety of cultural contexts. In Zambia, I’m now turning to a research project that looks at the ethical codes of journalists working in Lusaka. I’m trying to figure out what these codes have in common with those of journalists working in the U.S. I also want to find out how Zambian journalists grapple with censorship.

Francis Davidson schoolWhat advice would you give students who are interested in studying Africa?

I would advise them not to think so much in terms of “studying Africa,” but instead to think about a specific country or region. Africa is a vast and culturally diverse continent. Studying Zambia is very different from studying Liberia, for example. Students should keep that in mind.

What kind of instruction are you leading in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication?

I’m currently teaching a course called “The Global News Network,” which explores transnational television news organizations like Al Jazeera and e News Channel Africa. We’re learning about a variety of news networks, but I’m also introducing students to topics relevant to cultural studies and global studies—such as media flows, political economy, and the legacy of colonialism.

What has been a highlight of the first half of the semester?

Teaching has been the highlight—I’ve been incredibly impressed with the students in the SJMC.

What are you looking forward to after your first semester?

Adjusting to this busy schedule!

Profile produced by Meagan Doll.

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