Tuesday, December 13, 2005

U.S. State Department, Aspen Institute and Six U.S. Journalism Schools to Launch New International Journalism Program

WASHINGTON, Dec. 13 /U.S. Newswire/ -- US Secretary of
State Condoleezza Rice today announced the launch of a
new international journalism program, in partnership
with the Aspen Institute and six leading US schools of
journalism. Joining Secretary Rice for remarks were
Geoffrey Cowan, dean of the USC Annenberg School for
Communication and Aspen Institute President and CEO
Walter Isaacson.

The Edward R. Murrow Journalism Program-a partnership
among the State Department's Bureau of Educational and
Cultural Affairs, the Aspen Institute, and six
American universities-will invite up to 100
international media professionals to spend time at
leading journalism schools in the United States,
honing their skills, sharing ideas, and gaining
first-hand understanding of American society and
democratic institutions. The goal is not only to
inform the journalists about the United States, but
also to promote journalistic freedom and excellence
around the world.

The Edward R. Murrow program will culminate in April
2006 with an international symposium to be organized
by the Aspen Institute, through its Communications and
Society Program.

"The Department of State is determined to forge
partnerships with our private sector so that Americans
of all stripes, all traditions, all ethnic groups and
also all walks of life might be able to help to carry
the story of democratic progress and the progress of
liberty," said Secretary Rice. "We especially look
forward to working with our partners."

"Sixty years ago, the US was faced with a wholly new
global challenge to freedom: the spread of communism,"
said Walter Isaacson. "Our nation's leaders responded
with a new doctrine and a set of innovative
institutions that wove together America's interests
with its ideals, such as the Marshall Plan, the World
Bank, NATO and the UN. Now, we are faced with a new
and serious challenge in the 21st century, that of
fanatical terrorism. Once again, it requires a
doctrine that weaves together our idealism and our
realism. I hope this journalism program we are
launching today can become part of this historic

"Democracy cannot work without the free flow of
information and ideas that is made possible through an
independent and effective press," said Geoffrey Cowan.
"The Murrow Program adds an exciting and important new
component to those that the USIA and State Department
have offered in the past. It harnesses the resources
of American journalism schools. All of our schools
expect the international journalists to learn from our
courses -- and we all expect our students to learn
from our visitors."

The six journalism schools involved in the new program
are the University of Kentucky, University of
Minnesota, University of North Carolina at Chapel
Hill, University of Oklahoma, University of Southern
California and University of Texas at Austin.

Named after the renowned journalist and former
director of the United States Information Agency
Edward R. Murrow, this program will emphasize many of
the democratic principles that guided Murrow's
practice of his craft: integrity, ethics, courage, and
social responsibility.

This new journalism program is an innovative
public-private partnership, led by the State
Department's International Visitor Leadership Program.
Leading the initiative for the State Department are
Karen Hughes, Under Secretary of State for Public
Diplomacy, and Dina Habib Powell, Assistant Secretary
of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs.

The journalism schools are designing specialized
curricula for the international journalists
highlighting journalistic standards in the US. On the
university campuses, the program participants will
take part in intensive seminars and field activities
with faculty and students. The State Department will
not fund the seminars, nor will it be involved in
shaping the curricula.

The Aspen Institute-led symposium in April will
feature prominent working reporters, commentators,
editors and columnists discussing practical and
ethical issues inherent in the journalistic process.
It will also include key government spokespeople, who
will discuss the relationship between media and
government. Among the themes of the symposium will be
the importance of diversity of opinion, an informed
public, and challenges facing journalists around the

The project emanates from a variety of suggestions for
interaction between world journalists and their
colleagues in the United States. Among those are the
reports of the Aspen Institute conferences on
international freedom of expression and sustainability
of independent press and the Aspen Institute Arab- US
Media Forum.


The Aspen Institute, founded in 1950, is an
international nonprofit dedicated to fostering
enlightened leadership and open- minded dialogue.
Through seminars, policy programs, conferences and
leadership development initiatives, the Institute and
its international partners seek to promote nonpartisan
inquiry and an appreciation for timeless values. The
Institute is headquartered in Washington, DC, and has
campuses in Aspen, Colorado, and on the Wye River on
Maryland's Eastern Shore. Its international network
includes partner Aspen Institutes in Berlin, Rome,
Lyon, Tokyo, and New Delhi, and leadership programs in
Africa and Central America.



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