The Generation gives students a voice

The Generation gives students a voice

The Generation's Brad Rowe, left, and Jennifer Ching, right, recently interviewed George Mitchell, former U.S. special envoy for Middle East Peace. (Photo by Todd Cheney)

New online journal provides news and views related to international topics and issues

“We're not trying to be blindly provocative, but we're trying to get people to think about things in new ways."

It’s provocative, timely and educational. It’s citizen journalism with a UCLA twist.

The Generation, led by a team of dynamic undergraduate and graduate students, is a new online foreign affairs journal produced by students for students. Initiated by UCLA's Burkle Center for International Relations, which fosters research on and promotes discussion of international relations, U.S. foreign policy, and complex issues of global cooperation and conflict, The Generation is offering up student perspectives on a wide variety of international issues and topics.

“We’re not trying to be blindly provocative, but we’re trying to get people to think about things in new ways,” says Brad Rowe, a master’s student in public policy. 

Recent stories include that of a man who is using humor and humanity to help those struggling in the aftermath of the tsunami and earthquake that rocked Japan in March 2011, one woman’s perspective on the importance of bullfighting in Spain and an insider’s view of the London Riots.

“Very rarely do you see a story about international relations or an international issue that is from the ground up,” says Reza Hessabi, a fourth-year neuroscience major who is minoring in Middle Eastern and North African studies. “If you do see it, it’s a video blog. Nobody really sits down and writes about these things.”

Hessabi and Rowe recently went keyboard to keyboard, so to speak, to address the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) from opposing viewpoints. The relevancy of the issue to American students and the heated debates that surround the topic have inspired The Generation’s first public event, a panel discussion on SOPA that will be streamed live over the Internet during the spring quarter. Planning is currently underway.

In addition to Hessabi and Rowe, the journal’s editorial team includes a dedicated group of interns who aim to build awareness of the publication and further develop content and scope.

“I really couldn’t find any opportunities for that here until I learned of this,” says Jennifer Ching, a fourth-year communications and political science student. “This is something that I can feel invested in and excited about.”

Second-year communications and political science student Shadee Ashtari, who, along with Hessabi, interviewed Angelina Jolie on the red carpet at the premiere of her film "In the Land of Blood and Honey," agrees. (see video) She says that the team’s synergy, unwavering curiosity and desire to contribute to global understanding through the exchange of ideas are unlike anything she’s ever experienced. “There is so much passion in every single person involved with this journal. It’s so exciting to be part of something so incredible. It’s so refreshing, and I love being part of it.”

The Generation is always looking for new and inspiring contributors. Submissions from UCLA students are welcomed, as are those written by college and university students from around the globe. Articles must relate to foreign affairs and should be between 400 and 700 words.

In addition to visiting the journal's website, you may also follow The Generation on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to its RSS feed for the latest news.

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2012