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Student-Run Publication, The Global Observer, Gains Traction for Coverage of Coronavirus

The Global Observer, founded by Northeastern University’s School of Journalism graduate student Ha Minh Ta, has been focusing on the human angle of the 2019/2020 novel coronavirus, negating rumors and providing an alternate perspective. The team behind The Global Observer is a group of Northeastern University international students (both undergraduate and graduate) – and their goal is to highlight issues that pertain to the international student community in the United States that other publications may fail to notice/address. The publication’s faculty advisor is Matt Carroll, faculty member in the School of Journalism.

The Global Observer article centers on the first-hand accounts from classmates, friends, and professors trapped in the epicenter of the epidemic. Having graduated from Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, Yushu Tian – one of the The Global Observer writers – was able to conjure up an image of a barren land through vlog-style entries and first-hand experiences from her sources. Tian and Ta (the publication’s founding editor) both want to shift the focus on the novel coronavirus – instead of focusing on death tolls and mass quarantines to the life in Wuhan. They want to shift people’s perception of China from fear to empathy.

In an interview with CBS Boston, Ta said, “Hearing their stories, for me and a lot of other students, makes it much easier to empathize and to not make stereotypes.”

“I really want to share their stories to all the people in the US. Maybe we can change the impression of all of us being bio-weapons to this being a sad story,” Tian said in an interview with the Boston Globe.

To learn more about The Global Observer, visit their website here.