DOUGLAS A. COSPER
P.O. Box 1306, Nederland, CO 80466 U.S.A.
An experienced journalism trainer and lecturer with experience in Africa; Southeast, Central and South Asia; the Middle East and Eastern Europe, who has received numerous fellowships, including a Fulbright Scholar award and a Knight International Press Fellowship. Has trained both working journalists and university students with a focus on strengthening their ability to practice independent, balanced, fact-based and ethical reporting. Has taught in U.S. and international universities; strong, award-winning experiences as a newspaper reporter and foreign correspondent.
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: INTERNATIONAL JOURNALISM TRAINING
Ten years’ experience training working journalists at all levels of expertise in 10 developing democracies: Romania, Moldova, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Palestine, Azerbaijan, The Maldives, Botswana, Timor-Leste, Bosnia and Herzegovina and South Sudan.
- Juba, South Sudan: Radio Journalism Consultant and Trainer for Radio Miraya FM, a collaboration between Foundation Hirondelle and the United Nations Mission to South Sudan. Restructured newsroom and trained staff of 37 radio journalists over five months in three deployments between Feb. 15, 2011 and Nov. 24, 2013. Institutionalized news beats resulting in elevated morale and increased production at the station. Enhanced news production by increasing effectiveness of daily news meetings. Conduced series of radio journalism workshops for staff and coached individual journalists on news and feature stories. Toured four regional bureaus to conduct workshops for government and independent radio journalists. During this period, Southern Sudan was transitioning from Comprehensive Peace Agreement status with the north to full independence on July 9, 2011. Acting editor-in-chief, Dec. 2013.
- Yangon and Mandalay, Myanmar: Journalism Trainer. On contract with the U.S. State Department, designed, organized and conducted 21 trainings with a total of 290 journalists. The trainings were of one- to two-week duration, conducted over 10 months in four deployments from Sept. 26, 2008 until Aug. 12, 2011. Curriculum included basic and advanced news reporting, in-depth news reporting, editing, election coverage and reporting for foreign media outlets. Almost all of these trainings took place when Myanmar was ruled by the oppressive Than Shwe regime. Workshops were conducted in secret at first, and later in highly publicized public venues that served to break the ice for journalism training inside the country after a five-decade ban on Western training. Trainings included the nation’s first election training workshops in preparation for the historic 2010 elections, the first to be held in 20 years which led to the Myanmar’s democratic reforms. These trainings were held inside independent newsrooms and in collaboration with the Myanmar Writers and Journalists Association. Most workshops were conducted in translation.
- Chiang Mai, Thailand: Journalism Trainer. Designed curriculum and conducted two, four-week intensive journalism workshops for the Indochina Media Memorial Foundation, the pioneering independent journalism training organization, May 14 – June 11, 2005 and Oct. 18 – Nov. 15, 2008. Participants were recruited from Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar. The workshops focused on the themes “Ageing Asia,” and “Migrant Labor: Its Effects on Communities, Cultures and Women.” The participants published their stories in their home newspapers, where possible. Many of these early participants, notably from Myanmar, grew to become leading Asian journalists.
- Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina: Consulting Editor, Center for Investigative Reporting. Supervised, edited and coached an investigative team of 12 Bosnian, Croat and Serb investigative reporters, June 13 – Aug. 29, 2008. The award-winning center produces investigative news packages for regional publication, primarily focusing on organized crime and corruption.
- Dili, Timor-Leste: Interim Country Director, Strengthening Independent Media in Timor-Leste. After the sudden departure of the country director, reassessed $2.3 million USAID program and instituted programmatic changes, June-Aug. 2007. Supervised budget, 23-member staff and external relations.
- Boulder, Colorado: Director of USAID Project, Commitment to Peace through the Fourth Estate. Principal investigator of a $190,000 competitive USAID grant through the Academy for Educational Development to train 13 Palestinian print, television and radio journalists from the West Bank, March-May 2005. Designed and directed six-week program and managed staff of seven trainers and interpreters in cooperation with the University of Colorado School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
- Phnom Penh, Cambodia: Lead Trainer, Independent Journalism Foundation. Designed and conducted two, two-month intensive journalism skills courses for working journalists from Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar at the Southeast Asia Media Center in Phnom Penh, Jan. 12 – Aug. 1, 2004. Co-directed a two-week, train-the-trainers basic skills workshop for Vietnam News Agency division directors and top editors in Hanoi. Conducted a two-week basic skills workshop for the Lao Journalists Association in Vientiane, Lao PDR.
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: POST SECONDARY JOURNALISM INSTRUCTION AND CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT
Eighteen years’ experience teaching undergraduate and graduate journalism courses at the university level in Colorado and five developing democracies: Romania, Moldova, Azerbaijan, the Maldives and Botswana.
- Boulder, Colorado: Journalism Instructor. Taught undergraduate and graduate journalism skills courses periodically at the University of Colorado School of Journalism and Mass Communication, 1987-2013, in both full-time instructor and adjunct capacities. Taught introductory, beginning, advanced and graduate-level news reporting, writing and editing courses with consistently excellent evaluations.
- Gaborone, Botswana: McGee Journalism Fellow in Southern Africa. Designed curriculum and taught two skills courses to undergraduate journalism students at the University of Botswana Media Studies Department, Jan. – May 2007. Organized a select group of students to publish the school’s first student newspaper and companion website. Students wrote, designed, distributed and sold advertising for the monthly tabloid, the UB Horizon. The newspaper was profitable after the second issue and continues to be a valuable teaching tool.
- Male, the Maldives: Fulbright Specialist. Designed a three-year journalism BA program – the country’s first – for the Maldives College of Higher Education under the direction of the Ministry of Information, June 14 – July 25, 2006. Wrote curriculum for 12 journalism courses and laid the groundwork for its launch, which included creating an advisory board from national journalist leaders. The program was launched successfully and is flourishing.
- Baku, Azerbaijan: Fulbright Scholar. Lead lecturer for two journalism skills courses, one in English and one in Azeri, with three Azeri teaching colleagues at Baku State University, Sept. 2005 – Jan. 2006. The classes marked the first exposure for the flagship university to Western, fact-based journalism. Helped Azeri colleagues publish the first Azeri-language journalism textbook based on curriculum from the courses. Helped students launch “The Windmill,” the first true student newspaper in Azerbaijan. Conducted a preparatory workshop for five Azeri journalists accepted to the Caucasus School of Journalism and Media Management in Tbilisi, Georgia. Returning to Baku as a Fulbright Specialist, April 20 – May 19, 2012, consulted with the author of Azerbaijan’s only English-language journalism textbook for a second edition. Supervised a class of first-year journalism students at Qafqaz University to produce the school’s first student newspaper. Consulted with Baku State University’s journalism faculty on a proposal for an English-language, professional-oriented, Master of Arts program.
- Bucharest, Romania: Knight International Press Fellow. Lead trainer in cooperative program of the Independent Journalism Foundation and the University of Bucharest, Sept. 2002 – July 2003. Directed program, designed curriculum and was lead instructor for a class of third-year journalism students. Taught reporting and writing, newspaper production, media law and ethics and assisted students in the production of a 16-page, monthly student newspaper, The Bullet. Three of 12 students were later admitted to U.S. journalism graduate programs. Also as a Knight Fellow, conducted skills workshops for other university and high school students in Romania and the Republic of Moldova; co-directed a workshop, Reporting on Diversity, in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, for working professionals in cooperation with Transitions Online; conducted a week-long basic skills workshop with Roma students culminating in the publication of a class newspaper; consulted with newspaper managers, editors, reporters and photographers with an eye to increasing publications’ professional standards and independence; conducted research and wrote report on the state of the independent media in Moldova.
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: JOURNALISM
In my 15 years as a working print journalist, I worked at most levels of the profession and reported a broad variety of stories for community to global audiences.
- Freelance: Stories published in the Christian Science Monitor, Miami Herald International Edition, American Journalism Review, Editor and Publisher and others.
- Foreign Correspondence: United Press International, As a foreign correspondent, covered spot and feature international news, in both print and radio, as one-person bureau in the Netherlands and Belgium, including the World Court in The Hague and NATO and EEC activities in Brussels. Fifteen months.
- Staff Positions:
- Boulder Planet, Boulder, Colo., Writer and consulting editor for award-winning start-up news weekly (circ. 33,000). Three years.
- Daily Camera, Boulder, Colo., Staff writer for Boulder’s daily newspaper (circ. 40,000). Covered business, higher education, justice and general assignment. Four years.
- Tyler Morning Telegraph, Tyler, Texas, Staff writer for daily newspaper (circ. 50,000). Covered county government, state and county courts, schools, social services and general assignment. Two years.
- Mountain Ear, Nederland, Colo., Staff writer for hometown weekly newspaper on general assignment while working on a master’s degree. Two years.
Awards for newspapers with circulation to 100,000:
- 1999: First place, legal affairs feature writing, Society of Professional Journalists.
- 1998: First, second and third places, legal affairs feature writing; second place, feature writing, Society of Professional Journalists.
- 1997: Second place, political feature writing, Society of Professional Journalists.
- 1995: First place, spot news; second place, feature story, Colorado Associated Press. First place, deadline reporting, Society of Professional Journalists.
- A., journalism, 1983, University of Colorado, emphasis in international mass communication. Graduated first in class.
- A., social sciences, 1972, Southern Methodist University, emphasis in sociology, psychology and religion.
- Native English speaker
- Basic Spanish
- Basic Dutch