Pak-US exchange: International centre selects first 14 Pakistani journalists from 800 applicants
KARACHI: The first batch of fourteen out of 128 Pakistani journalists has been chosen to go to the US in April 2011 for an internship under a new US-Pakistan Journalism Exchange programme.
This was announced by Patrick Butler, vice president (programmes), and Johanna Carrillo, senior programme director, of the International Centre for Journalists (ICFJ) in Washington at a press conference at the Karachi Press Club here on Friday. The secretary general of the Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF), Owais Aslam Ali, accompanied them.Carrillo said that the ICFJ is hosting this programme in collaboration with the PPF. They had received more than 800 applications.
The programme will continue for three years with the cooperation of the US State Department. The ICFJ is currently hosting this three-year multi-phase programme, which will invite 128 Pakistani media professionals to the US and send 30 US journalists to Pakistan. Journalists from both sides will study the cultures of their host countries as they are immersed in their newsrooms.
English-speaking Pakistani media professionals will receive four-week internships at US media organisations and non-English speakers will spend half that time. The programme will be knit throughout with events and opportunities to experience American life, showcasing its diversity.
Earlier, the ICFJ’s Patrick Butler said that participants on both sides will have opportunities to report on their experiences in each country, which will help educate their audiences and dispel myths and misperceptions that people carry in each country about the other. The ICFJ will carry out Pakistan-based activities with the assistance of local media organisations, while the University of Maryland’s School of Journalism will assist with the US activities.
Explaining the eligibility criteria for the programme, Butler said that any media professional, with Pakistani citizenship and a Bachelor’s degree, active journalistic work experience between three to 15 years and currently working in the field of journalism could apply for the programme.
They are not only encouraging journalists from big cities such as Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad to apply but urging journalists from the rural areas and women to step up too. The applications are on www.usefpakistan.org. The ICFJ runs another website, www.ijnet.org, which carries a lot of news on training, workshops, awards, fellowships and many more opportunities for the development of media and media professionals. The ICFJ is currently working in many countries across the world – Pakistan, Egypt, Malaysia, India, East Timor, Tanzania, Uganda, the Middle East, Israel, Jordan, Russia, Turkey, China, the US, Panama, Haiti, Peru, Ghana among others.
It has trained 65,000 participants from 180 countries over 26 years. It is a nonprofit, professional organization, promoting quality journalism worldwide in the belief that independent, vigorous, media are crucial for improving the human condition. Later, the PPF’s Owais Aslam Ali presented the traditional gift of an Ajrak to Butler and journalists Shams Kerio and Ahmed Malik presented one to Carrillo.
Source: The Express Tribune