EWC Journalism Programs Expand Offerings, Participation

A strong growth area at the East-West Center in recent years has been the Center’s journalism fellowships and exchanges. Since 2005, the range of EWC programs for journalists has doubled, to 10 programs serving about 100 participants per year, with many more attending the biennial international media conferences.

Media Programs Coordinator Susan Kreifels says that support for the journalism programs reflects the important role that journalists play in the Center’s mission of promoting a more peaceful, just and prosperous Asia Pacific region. “A better-informed media means better-informed policymakers and a better-informed public,” Kreifels says. “When you put that together, it leads to improved policies and better regional relations.”

Recent media program initiatives include:

•    A new e-newsletter and website called East-West MediaLine , intended as an engaging and practical resource for journalists in the region. Stories in the first edition ranged from reports from two media program alumni who narrowly avoided the recent political massacre in the Philippines to personal reflections of the Center’s first media fellow from Iran.

•    Preparations for the Center’s second major international media conference , scheduled for April 25-28 in Hong Kong.

•    Establishment of a China-U.S. Journalists Exchange, which Kreifels says “completes the triangle of bilateral Northeast Asian journalism exchanges,” alongside similar existing programs for Japan and Korea .

•    A training program for young Chinese health reporters, the Center’s first effort to provide reporting-skills training, and one that Kreifels says is “so important, since the kind of reporting that’s done on infectious diseases in China really affects the whole world.”

•    The launch of an international chapter for Center media alumni. Organized around professional interest rather than geography, the chapter welcomes anyone anywhere who was a participant of an EWC program and has a professional interest in media work.

Meanwhile, media program mainstays like the flagship Jefferson Fellowships