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Fri, 07 Sep 2012 11:51:53 EDT by admin, 113240 views
University of Ottawa, Canada
Cultural Studies paper by Orosz, József (all papers)
"Meeting of Worlds, Melting of Cultures" -- A journey from East to West
This presentation aims to provide an insight into how an Eastern European journalist and professor’s way of thinking and story meets the Canadian culture and academic practice at universities while teaching different courses in journalism and political science.
While in Hungary, the constitutional system and the rule of law were weakened following the last elections of 2010, and the system of checks and balances has almost ceased to exist, the freedoms of speech and expression are continuously challenged and suppressed; the fundamental rights and freedoms —especially the freedom of assembly and opinion— have been thought to be subdued in Canada following the G20 Summit of 2010 in Toronto and the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup riot.
While teaching journalism ethics and theory of radio and television at different universities in Ottawa and Toronto, students and professors often claim that the incumbent party in Canada has already launched an attack against fundamental freedoms. During lectures and class debates, two different worlds and different experiences met each other and generated heated discussion about where the point of no return lies in a democracy. According to some stereotypes, Canadians are forbearing citizens and Hungarians are said to be warm-blooded, yet every lecture and debate proves that both Canadian born students and first generation immigrants to Canada have learnt the same lesson. In Canada, from the very first moments, the country makes her citizens able to protect democracy and not to accept harm on freedom. The Hungarian example reveals the fact that a newborn democracy can easily be the victim of social instability, political populism, and apathy, while a country over the Atlantic enables her citizens to safeguard freedom. The experience of witnessing how Canadian professors and students learnt the lesson about functional multiculturalism and different ethnic groups’ peaceful coexistence evokes opposite sentiments back in Hungary. Besides teaching the compulsory curriculum, differing backgrounds and understandings come face-to-face, resulting in the melting of different cultures and the emergence of the very same democratic ethos.
This journey of a Hungarian immigrant is an apparent demonstration of mutual understanding and interaction between contrasting cultures and experiences.
Brief Professional Bio:
Jozsef Orosz is an adjunct professor teaching journalism ethics, theory of radio and television and media policies at different universities in Ottawa and Toronto. Before his landing in Canada, he was one of the top-notch broadcast journalists hosting radio and TV shows in Hungary, also a human rights activist and founder of the Hungarian Democratic Charter of 2007. He did some landmark interviews, radio and TV shows in his country of birth. He covered the fall of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe, sent his reports from Baghdad during the Gulf Wars in 1991 and 2003, covered the Yugoslav war and the aerial bombing of Belgrade. Mr. Orosz worked at ABC Evening News with Peter Jennings in 1991, and gained a scholarship to the University of Texas, Austin in 1995. He received recognition for his journalistic works, was awarded with the Hungarian Pulitzer Prize and Hemingway Prize for Lifetime Achievement in journalism.