Welcome to the English-language homepage of the FAMU-Shantou 2010 FIFA World Cup student journalism internship project. That’s quite a mouthful, but it does sum up what this page is all about and who we are. We’d like to invite you to enjoy the features and news you will be finding on this page. By the time the World Cup starts on June 11, you will start to see fresh material every day: Stories about the World Cup, and stories about everyday life in South Africa, in many different formats. For instance, one day there may be a link to a podcast about South African jazz, and another day there might be a photo essay about a women’s collective for victims of domestic abuse. Or a video on what South African schoolkids today learn about the apartheid years. There will be video, audio and photo galleries, as well as printed stories about World Cup personalities and other interesting things we encounter during our six-week stay in South Africa.

Oh, that’s nice, you may say, but who are you? That depends on which language you read, but it’s a fair question. The English pages are being produced by five students and one recent graduate of the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication at Florida A&M University, a historically black institution in Tallahassee, Florida, in the United States, with an enrollment of approximately 12,000 students. These six “FAMU Rattlers” are working together with six students from Shantou University in Guangdong Province, China, who will provide similar content in Chinese for the project. We’ll have a link here soon to the Shantou pages. And the Shantou students do a lot of work in English, and we will occasionally have content from them for the English site, too. We will be linking to each other’s work.

Follow this link to read brief bios of the 12 student journalists. The two groups of students have been exchanging information, and each student has one partner he or she has befriended online and has been sharing information with in online video and text chats using Skype. Everybody will meet each other on May 31 or June 2, when all of our flights arrive in Cape Town. We’ll also use this space to introduce our professors and lecturers, who will be giving us advice and encouragement — and probably a little editing — along the way. In South Africa, we will be living and working together in a unique cross-cultural environment that bridges our two distinct cultures within a third culture, in the rainbow nation of South Africa, the first African country to host a World Cup tournament.

It’s an exciting time and an exciting project, and we hope you enjoy our work, and follow the events of the 2010 FIFA World Cup right here with us.