Journalism students travel abroad to England, Wales

Journalism students travel abroad to England, Wales

University of Alabama journalists are currently on a two-week expedition to England and Wales to collect stories for the Alpine Living Magazine. CW | Rachel Brown

Alaina Upman

University of Alabama journalists are currently on a two-week expedition to England and Wales to collect stories for the sixth edition of the Alpine Living Magazine.

Alpine Living is an international travel magazine produced and edited solely by UA journalism students as a showcase of their writing and photography skills. Every other year, students travel near mountainous regions around the world to create the magazine. This year, the group made their first stop in England.

Anna Rae Gwarjanski, managing editor, and Collin Curry, editor-in-chief, are two of 14 journalists on the team. Both Gwarjanski and Curry are first-year graduate students at the University studying journalism. Gwarjanski said travel writing is a career both she and Curry want to pursue after 
they graduate.

“We were both a part of the last issue to Spain,” Curry said. “Anna Rae was a photographer, and I was a writer. Since we’re in grad school now, we decided to give it another go in 
leadership roles.”

Curry said the student journalists raised funds to publish the magazine with assistance from Wilson Lowrey, journalism professor and department chair, and Kimberly Bissell, associate dean for research, journalism professor and director of the Institute for Communication and 
Information Research.

“I honestly don’t think there’s any other program like this,” Curry said.

The fifth edition of Alpine Living was approximately 150 pages and this year’s issue will be approximately 90 pages, Gwarjanski said.

“We’ve done most of western Europe so far for Alpine Living,” Curry said. “We’ve done Spain, Portugal, France, Italy and Switzerland. The first couple of issues all had to do with the Alps because they go into Switzerland, France, Germany and Italy.”

Before the team arrived in London, the journalists had already set up interviews and tours to help prepare them for the stories they will cover. When not on an assignment, they have the opportunity to explore their new surroundings.

“Basically, we find really cool places that aren’t always in the mainstream of where we go,” Gwarjanski said. “We try to profile these different places and give them a little 
more coverage.”

Gwarjanski said eating at Dans Le Noir restaurant in London was a new experience for her. Dans Le Noir serves their guests in complete darkness, taking away the sense of sight so that you can only use your auditory and tasting 
senses, she said.

Curry is currently working on a soccer story. He said the soccer culture story will be one of the big features in the magazine, because soccer was invented in England. Passionate fans in the United Kingdom have established their own culture of soccer, Curry said.

“When deciding where we wanted to go this year, the main challenge with looking at the U.K. was trying to find the mountainous region,” Gwarjanski said. “Collin will be doing a trekking story in Snowdonia National Park in Wales, where we will be climbing Snowdon, the highest peak in the U.K. That’s where we will bring in the Alpine part of 
the magazine.”

After a stop in Manchester, Alpine Living will arrive in Snowdonia. Most of the group will climb Snowdon on March 16, while others will work on various assignments throughout Wales, Curry said.

Upon their return from the U.K., the journalists will write and edit for two weeks. After this two-week period, they will send their work to a publisher and hopefully distribute the magazine during finals week, Gwarjanski said.