The Jefferson Fellowships offer U.S. and Asia Pacific journalists an opportunity to broaden their understanding of Asia Pacific issues and build a professional network through a 3-week program of dialogue and travel organized around a special theme.
The Spring 2013 Jefferson Fellowships program will focus on "New Leadership in the Asia Pacific: Resolving Old Problems, Managing New Realities," with travel to Honolulu, Tokyo, Beijing and the first-ever visit to Myanmar in the 46-year history of the program.
The Spring 2013 Jefferson Fellowships program
Theme: New Leadership in Asia Pacific: Solving Old Problems, Managing New Realities
Dates: June 9-30, 2013
Destinations: Honolulu, Hawaii; Tokyo, Japan; Beijing, China; Yangon, Myanmar
Who Can Apply: Working print, broadcast, and on-line journalists in the United States, Asia* and the Pacific Islands. Five years of experience preferred. English fluency required. 12-14 Fellowships will be awarded, 4-5 for American journalists, and 7-9 for journalists from Asia and the Pacific. American and Asia Pacific journalists study and travel together throughout the program for a unique and rich learning opportunity. *Please note that funding applies only to Asian countries in this list.
2012 brought new leadership to China and Japan and important bi-elections in Myanmar that signaled a new democratic openness in the country’s on-going transition from military to civilian rule. President Xi Jinping assumed leadership of the Chinese Communist Party after 10 years under Hu Jintao; former LDP Prime Minister Abe Shinzo returned to power in Japan; and President Thein Sein in Myanmar called for dramatic economic, social and political reform that has brought market opportunities and changed the country’s role in the region. Leadership in these three countries face complex, long-standing economic and social challenges as well as the reality of new power dynamics within the region, particularly China’s rise.
The 2013 Jefferson Fellowships program will focus on how much change and continuity may be expected from these new national leaders and others in business, government, and civil society who are in positions to influence economic, social and political developments. Participants will spend one week in Honolulu for sessions with regional experts to examine US perspectives on new leadership and power shifts and the second Obama administration’s plans for reinvigorated engagement with the Asia-Pacific region. A visit to Tokyo will explore new approaches to Japan’s entrenched economic and social difficulties—high budget deficits, deflation, an aging population and rigid labor structure—and reduced international standing. In Beijing, meetings will provide insight into President Xi Jinping’s vision for economic restructuring and China’s role as a regional and global power, and will examine other forces that are affecting change in China. The program will conclude with an on-the-ground look at the historic political, economic and media reforms taking place in Myanmar. Myanmar’s leadership faces an influx of foreign investment, which holds the promise of jumpstarting the economy amid immense challenges of managing political and social change.
In addition to domestic challenges, all three countries must grapple with the new realities of China’s rise. This power shift will require innovative thinking that is difficult in the face of domestic nationalism and established beliefs about the regional order. Territorial disputes between China and Japan have strained their bilateral relationship. Growing multinational interest in Myanmar, including improved relations with the United States, further shifts the status quo within the region. These regional challenges come as the Obama administration emphasizes its intention of “rebalancing” in the Asia Pacific region.
Spring 2013 Jefferson Fellows will have the unique opportunity to engage with Yangon's emerging media sector and provide professional training and regional perspectives to local journalists in this historic first ever visit to Myanmar in the 46 years of the Jefferson Fellowships program.
Congratulations to the Spring 2013 Jefferson Fellows:
Ms. Lillian Greenfield CUNNINGHAM, ‘On Leadership’ Editor and Feature Writer, The Washington Post, Washington, DC, United States
Mr. Anak Agung Gde Bagus Wahyu DHYATMIKA, Managing Editor, Tempo, Jakarta, Indonesia
Ms. Rosemarie FRANCISCO, Chief Correspondent, Manila, Thomson Reuters, Philippines
Ms. Del IRANI, Prime-time Presenter, Australia Network and Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) News, Australia
Ms. Beenish JAVED, Foreign Affairs and Political Reporter, ARY News, Islamabad, Pakistan
Ms. Talia KAYALI, Assignment Editor/Supervising Editor, International News Desk, CNN, Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Mr. ZAYYAR HLAING, Editor, Myanmar Observer Media Group, Yangon, Myanmar
Mr. Roger MCSHANE, Online US Editor, The Economist, Washington, DC, United States
Mrs. Emily Tomoko PERSCHBACHER, Editor, Source, National and Foreign Desk, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Mr. Abdul QAHAR, Resident Editor, Daily Aeen, and contributing writer to the Daily Times and Friday Times, Islamabad, Pakistan
Mr. Xuan QIN, Reporter, Southern Weekly (Beijing Bureau), Beijing, China
Mr. Aaron SCHACHTER, Assignment Editor, Public Radio International’s The World, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Mr. Atul SETHI, Assistant Editor, The Times of India, New Delhi, India
Mr. Nyien THAW HTOO, Executive Editor, Today Publishing House, Ltd., Yangon, Myanmar
Ms. Andrea Helen VANCE, Political Reporter, Fairfax Media NZ, Wellington, New Zealand
Mr. Kenichi YAMAMOTO, Staff Writer, Associate Editor of Foreign News Section, The Asahi Shimbun, Tokyo, Japan
The Jefferson Fellowships are supported by a generous grant from The Freeman Foundation. The grant covers economy class airfare to Honolulu, Hawaii, throughout the program and back to participant's home country from Yangon; program-related ground transportation, lodging, and meals; and a modest per diem to cover incidental expenses and meals not provided by the program.
Participants are required to pay a $500 program fee that covers program expenses not included in the Freeman Foundation grant. Participants are also responsible for all applicable visa fees and any additional visa-related expenses. They also must purchase their own travel-related health insurance.
Additional funding support for the 2013 program has been provided by The U.S. Embassy Islamabad Public Affairs Section to sponsor two (2) Pakistani journalists.
Launched in 1967, the Jefferson Fellowships is the East-West Center’s oldest and most widely-recognized seminar program, with an illustrious alumni network of more than 500 Jefferson Fellows across the Asia Pacific region and the United States. The broad goal of the program is to to enhance public understanding through the news media of cultures, issues and trends in the Asia Pacific region, broadly defined as Asia, the Pacific Islands and the United States. Participation in the Jefferson Fellowships provides journalists not only with a life-changing international experience, valuable professional contacts, and life-long friendships with their colleagues in the program, but also access to the EWC’s international network of more than 1,000 media professionals and 50,000 alumni. Funding for the Jefferson Fellowships has been provided through a grant from the Freeman Foundation of Stowe, Vermont since 1999.
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See a list of all Jefferson Fellowships alumni since 1967.
The Spring 2012 Jefferson Fellowships program
Changing Cities: Innovation for an Urban World
June 3-25, 2012
Honolulu, Hawaii; Singapore; Guangzhou, China; Songdo/Seoul, Korea
The 15 Asia Pacific and US journalists in the 2012 Spring Jefferson Fellowships program explored innovations for managing urbanization, one of the mega-trends that is changing the face of the Asia Pacific region. Travel to Honolulu, Singapore, Guangzhou, and Seoul provided journalists with insight into this regional mega-trend and concrete examples of what governments, companies and citizens are doing to manage the urban transition. The 2012 program also included the opportunity to participate in the East-West Center’s 3rd International Media Conference in Seoul, June 22-24.
In Honolulu, East-West Center experts shared their research about the demographics of the region and some of the additional challenges facing Asian cities such as climate change, infectious disease and rising energy costs. In Singapore journalists saw first-hand effective and innovative models for developing public housing, managing limited water resources, dealing with waste, controlling traffic congestion, and creating livability through parks, greenery and public space. They visted the labs that are planning the cities of the future, such as Dr. Carlo Ratti at the SENSEable City Laboratory, and met with people who were trying to save the past from more development as they protested the destruction of Singapore’s oldest cemetery for a freeway. Meeting with Liu Thai Ker, the city planner who oversaw Singapore’s development from a swampy backwater at independence in 1950 to the thriving city it is today was also enlightening, especially his emphasis on the need for strong leadership that can make unpopular decisions.
Guangzhou provided an example of a city in transition, a developing city with many challenges that the Asian journalists could relate to from their own countries. An important focus in Guangzhou was its award-winning Bus Rapid Transit system, the largest system in Asia and a model for the region. Experts from the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy showed and explained the key elements that made the system a successful part of transforming the city center, including: a feeder bike share system, the opening of old canals to create “greenways” under the freeway overpasses, and converting nearby low rise neighborhoods into mixed use/pedestrian only zones. The overall effect was impressive, demonstrating creative, cost-effective ways to improve and utilize public space and create a more livable, efficient urban core. Journalists rode China’s new high speed rail, talked with the Mayor, and explored the future of electric vehicles in visits to Chinese company BYD and foreign investor Better Place. One of the most powerful meetings in Guangzhou was a frank evening discussion session with some of China’s migrant workers, who have contributed to building the dream, but have not yet fully realized its benefits. Despite many stories of hardships, however, the workers were optimistic about the future, both for themselves and for their children.
Korea is another of Asia's impressive development stories in its rise from one of the poorest countries in the region to one of its most prosperous in less than 50 years. The journalists met with international developer Stan Gale who shared his vision for Songdo, a greenfield city being built from the ground up on landfill near Inchon airport with videoconferencing in each apartment, pneumatic waste systems and other high tech infrastructure to attract expatriots and Koreans alike. The journalists were impressed by Seoul’s “soul” and city planners shared some of the city’s major achievements in trying to maintain or revitalitze a sense of culture and self: a tour of Bukchon village, a district of historic old houses that has been preserved in the city center, and a tour of the revitalized Cheong Gye Cheon stream, a stream through the city center that was paved over to build a double-decker freeway during Korea’s rush to develop. The uncovering of the stream reopened and invigorated the city center, creating a vibrant public space, and re-energizing local businesses. Journalists also met with the innovators at KOTI, Korea’s premier transportation think tank, to learn about how effective transportation policy was critical to Korea’s economic development boom.
Throughout the study tour program, regional experts and analysts from leading consulting firms McKinsey and Frost and Sullivan added big picture perspectives, with McKinsey giving the journalists the first pre-publication look at its new report on cities. In all cities, common themes were governance—what it takes to make massive changes and implement costly projects—and sustainability—how to maintain livability and preserve a sense of history and culture in the rush toward development and efficiency. The program provided journalists with connections and contacts in government, business, academia, NGOs, media, social activism and other areas of civil society upon which they can draw for their reporting on Asia for decades to come.
"My first day back I went into ABC News with about a dozen story ideas, and they suggested that I have a new blog on ABCNews.com on innovation in cities. I start Sunday. So this Jefferson Fellowship has really altered my path. The places we visited, the people we met, and the ideas that were shared were invaluable." Carrie Halperin, Associate Producer, ABC News, New York
Please see this list for articles and videos produced by the participating journalists: Articles by Journalists.
The Spring 2012 Jefferson Fellows:
- Mr. A. Z. M. ANAS, Economic Editor and Special Correspondent, The Financial Express, Dhaka, Bangladesh
- Mr. Sanjay Kumar BHATT, Reporter, The Seattle Times, Seattle, Washington, USA
- Mr. Jonathan (Jon) Elie FASMAN, Atlanta Correspondent, The Economist, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
- Mrs. Oyungerel GALSANDAGVA, Head of social and human development division, Unuudur (Today) Newspaper, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
- Ms. Carrie Dana HALPERIN, Associate Producer/Writer, ABC News, New York, New York, USA
- Ms. Maya KANEKO, Reporter, Kyodo News, Tokyo, Japan
- Mr. Praj KIATPONGSAN, Anchor/International Correspondent, Nation Broadcasting Corporation Public Company Limited, Bangna, Bangkok, Thailand
- Ms. Jiajia LI, Reporter, Southern TV, Guangzhou, China
- Ms. Mahim MAHER, City Editor, The Express Tribune, Karachi, Pakistan
- Ms. Pradipta MUKHERJEE, Reporter, Bloomberg News, Kolkata, India
- Ms. Marie Carisa ORDINARIO, Reporter, Business Mirror, Makati City, Philippines
- Mr. Neal PEIRCE, Columnist, Washington Post Writers Group, Washington, D.C., USA
- Mr. Syed Muhammad Hasnain RAZA, Assignment Editor, Samaa TV, Islamabad, Pakistan
- Ms. Karyn SCHERER, Deputy Editor, New Zealand Listener, Auckland, New Zealand
- Mr. Idrus SHAHAB, Managing Editor, Tempo Weekly Magazine, Jakarta, Indonesia
Program Coordinator and Contacts:
Jefferson Fellowships Coordinator
1601 East-West Road
Honolulu, Hawai'i 96848-1601, U.S.A.