By Joshua Kreiser
The Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists convenes journalists from around the world to examine free and responsible reporting and to help those journalists build networks with media professionals in the United States. The Murrow Program has grown over the past few years—most significantly increasing from 82 participants in 2017 to 237 in 2018. This rapid growth is due to a shift in the Murrow Program’s model, moving from a single event per year to 12 tailored projects designed to address different foreign policy priorities.
Last November, 48 emerging professionals working in print, broadcast and digital media participated in a project that focused on countering disinformation. “Misinformation has grave consequence to my country and its development, especially when it comes from an external government,” said Christelle Meledje, a participant from Côte d’Ivoire. “Journalists have the toughest time fighting against such a machine; this [Murrow Program] is the best remedy to help combat such atrocity.”
For three weeks, participants visited journalism classes at universities and high schools in small- to mid-sized American cities to see how public debate based on facts, evidence and reason is integral to civic engagement. “I admire the strong institutions in the U.S. that have contributed to a strong and free press,” said Alex Otto, a participant from Uganda.
Reflecting on the program, participant Magdalena Maria Raos from Austria was grateful for the connections she gained. “I now benefit from a worldwide network of people I can contact whenever I need information about their countries for my daily reporting, and they can contact me,” said Raos. Darvin Muric, a participant from Montenegro, remarked on the importance of freedom of speech. “I’ve learned that free press and freedom of speech have no price or an alternative. I intend to triple check every single piece of information I will be dealing with back home,” said Muric.
Follow upcoming Murrow Programs on social media at #IVLP.
Joshua Kreiser is an international visitor exchange specialist in the Office of International Visitors.