On Monday, September 23, the Global Climate Summit convened as part of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), and MMC CommArts students from Public Affairs and Political Reporting, taught by Tatiana Serafin, MFA, Assistant Professor of Communication and Media Arts, were at the forefront, covering protests and interviewing civic activists.
Students made their way—in a fall heat wave!—to 47th Street and 2nd Avenue, just a few blocks from the United Nations, where a cordoned off space was set up by the NYPD for protesters and groups to gather. One group was #GranniesforGreta, ardent supporters of Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist who led the first wave of the Global Climate Strike on Friday, September 21, and who attended the Climate Summit on Monday to castigate world leaders for not doing enough to safeguard the future of the planet.
MMC students also met advocates from EP Green Coalition who oppose stone wool insulation manufacturer Rockwool’s plant in West Virginia, as well as other environmental activists who had traveled to New York City to have their voices heard by world leaders.
Several students made their way further down 2nd Avenue to 44th Street, where they found an anti-Iran protest that turned violent when a women began hitting a photographer trying to take pictures. Students witnessed firsthand the threats that members of the press face in their reporting and discussed the risks journalists take when reporting on situations in which emotions run high. Further up, another group of students followed a Trump supporter and Youtuber who was making his own waves among supporters and detractors on city streets.
The class then headed back to campus and created Instagram stories as part of an innovative multimedia journalism assignment that enabled them to share their New York stories with a Gen Z audience.