EWC Seminars Live



Designed for multinational journalists and informed audiences, EWC Seminars Live is a monthly webinar and briefing series that seeks to inform, connect, and source media stories.

The EWC Seminars Live webinars provide increased exposure and interconnectivity among media professionals and experts via globally accessible speaking events. Many webinar themes have been sourced from a recent survey of over 165 journalists and are open to all registrants.

The EWC Seminars Live briefings provide on-the-record access to newsworthy experts, government officials, business executives, civil society leaders, and artists in an interactive and engaged online format. The briefings are intended to build American and international journalists’ networks and inspire future story ideas.

EWC Seminars Live webinars and briefings are unrestricted and open to the public, in addition to journalists and freelancers from across the globe.


Upcoming Webinars & Briefings

China-U.S. Relations: A Way out of the Abyss?

Monday, November 22, 2021 | 3:30 – 5:00pm Hawaii


The US-China relationship has become the world’s most important bilateral relationship, encompassing the two largest economies on earth. Their relations during the post-Mao era have fluctuated between good and poor. The relationship reached a new trough during the Trump Administration, which took office as many observers concluded that contrary to US hopes, China had become more authoritarian and aggressive as it grew wealthier and more powerful. Trump highlighted the large and chronic US trade deficit with China, while his senior officials took a tougher strategic and ideological posture toward China than previous US governments. The results were a minor “trade war,” greater emphasis on the adversarial aspects rather than the cooperative aspects of US-China relations, and movement toward economic decoupling.

Chinese officials saw a sudden US departure from the previous arrangement of “focusing on cooperation and managing differences” along with sharp new US attacks in especially sensitive areas: upgraded US-Taiwan contacts, US criticism and even sanctions over the “internal matters” of Xinjiang and Hong Kong, and outgoing US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s call for the overthrow of the Chinese Communist Party. At the same time, they perceived that the United States was in decline, as evidenced by the 2008 financial crisis, poor US management of the pandemic, and political turmoil within the USA. They concluded America was making a last, futile push to prevent China from ascending to regional and global leadership.

The Biden Administration took office in January 2021, offering the possibility of a fresh start. The Biden team, however, maintained a largely adversarial stance. Biden declined to remove the Trump-era tariffs. Initial high-level meetings, such as the Alaska meeting in March and Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman’s visit to China in July, went badly and hardened attitudes on both sides. Two phone calls between Biden and Xi made no significant breakthrough.

An October meeting in Zurich between US national security adviser Jake Sullivan and China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi offers new hope of a recovery in the bilateral relationship. They paved the way for Biden and Xi to hold a virtual meeting before the end of this year. The details of the meeting are still being worked out. Will this meeting lead to improved China-US relations or a continued spiral toward confrontation?

Panelists: (listed in speaking order)

  • Rick WATERS, Deputy Assistant Secretary for China, Taiwan and Mongolia, Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs, US Department of State, Washington, DC, USA @USAsiaPacific
  • Mingjiang LI, Associate Professor and Provost’s Chair in International Relations, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore @JackLi72342096
  • Yun SUN, Senior Fellow and Co-Director, East Asia Program and Director, China Program, Stimson Center, Washington, DC, USA @Stimson_EAsia


  • Julie MCCARTHY, National Public Radio (NPR) Southeast Asia Correspondent, Manila, Philippines @JulieMcCarthyJM

Click here for headshots and biographies.


Past Webinars & Briefings

The Future of Women in Afghanistan

Tuesday, October 12, 2021 | 4:00 – 5:30pm Hawaii; 10:00 - 11:30pm Washington DC

After 2001 when the Taliban lost control of Afghanistan, the rights of Afghan women increased significantly. They attended co-ed universities, joined the work force, reported the news, were elected to public office and held ministerial positions. But with the country again under the rule of the Taliban, who denied women and girls basic rights such as education, work and travel during the 1990s, their future looks bleak as restrictions on their lives mount. The Taliban recently announced an all-male government and said women should focus on giving birth and raising children. They ruled that universities will be gender-segregated and Islamic dress compulsory. Women journalists have been threatened and gone into hiding. Women protesters who have taken to the streets to demand equal rights have been met with violence by the Taliban.

This panel, which includes an Afghan journalist who fled her country after the Taliban regained control, will discuss what the future holds for women in Afghanistan and how the world can most effectively support them.

Panelists:  (listed in alphabetical order)

  • Anita BHATIA, Assistant Secretary General and Deputy Executive Director, UN Women, New York City, New York, USA @abhatiaunwomen
  • Samira HAMIDI, Regional Campaigner, South Asia Office, Amnesty International, Colombo, Sri Lanka @HuriaSamira
  • Farida NEKZAD, Director, Centre for Protection of Afghan Women Journalists
  • Roya RAHMANI, Former Afghanistan Ambassador to the U.S.; Senior Advisor, South Asia Center, Atlantic Council; and Distinguished Fellow, Institute for Women, Peace and Security, Georgetown University, Washington, DC, USA @RoyaRahmani


  • Dilrukshi HANDUNNETTI, Executive Director, Center for Investigative Reporting Sri Lanka, Colombo, Sri Lanka @DilrukshiH

Click here for headshots and biographies.

To view the webinar via YouTube, please click on the video below or the following link: https://youtu.be/XRGUURj81m0

Thank you to the following organizations for supporting this event and sharing program information with their communities:

 Center for Investigative Reporting Sri Lanka, South Asia Women in Media and The Atlantic Council South Asia Center



The New Geopolitics of Afghanistan

Tuesday, September 28, 2021 | 4:00 – 5:30pm, Hawaii

Two decades after Western forces helped sweep the Taliban from power, and four months after President Joe Biden announced his intention to end America’s longest war, world leaders raced to evacuate their citizens from Afghanistan following the Taliban’s rapid takeover in mid-August. As Afghanistan lies at the geostrategic nexus of various great-power rivalries and offers rich deposits of rare earths and other valuable minerals, the immediate and long-term impact of the Taliban’s return to power is likely to extend beyond Afghanistan’s borders to the complicated knot of nearby states – China, India, Pakistan, Russia, and Turkey – as allies and foes similarly attempt to map a new diplomatic and strategic reality.

The international community is likely to confront three issues:  political instability and escalating regional tensions, the prospect of Afghanistan becoming a haven for terrorist activities, and an influx of refugees as Afghans flee violence and persecution. For China, the U.S. withdrawal has raised concerns about the security of Chinese infrastructure projects and citizens as well as the growth of Islamist extremism in a country that abuts Xinjiang. India, moreover, is worried about terrorist recruitment, militancy in Kashmir, and Pakistan gaining leverage in the broader India-Pakistan conflict. In Pakistan, the Afghan Taliban’s return has delivered a strategic defeat to rival India, but also a potential boost to the Pakistani Taliban, which threatens Pakistan itself. Farther afield, Turkey has been an unwilling destination for Afghan refugees, prompting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to announce he would work with Pakistan to stem fresh waves of refugees. Join us for an open conversation between think tank and policy experts exploring how China, India, Pakistan, and Turkey are likely to react to the Taliban’s return to power, the prospect of emboldened militant Islamists, mass migration, and the future of diplomatic and strategic relations in the region.

Panelists:  (listed in speaking order)

  • Michael KUGELMAN, Deputy Director and Senior Associate for South Asia, Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington, DC, USA @MichaelKugelman
  • Niva YAU TSZ YAN, Fellow, Eurasia Program, Foreign Policy Research Institute and Researcher, OSCE Academy, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan @nivayautszyan
  • Harsh V. PANT, Director, Studies & Head of the Strategic Studies Program, Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi, India @orfonline
  • Husain HAQQANI, Former Pakistan Ambassador to the U.S. and Senior Fellow & Director, South and Central Asia, Hudson Institute, Washington, DC, USA @husainhaqqani
  • Murat SOMER, Professor, Political Science & International Relations, Koç University, Istanbul, Turkey @murat_somer


  • Nirmal GHOSH, U.S. Bureau Chief, The Straits Times, Washington, DC, USA @karmanomad

Click here for headshots and biographies.

To view the webinar via YouTube, please click on the video below or the following link:  https://youtu.be/CvKMb9qWnHE.

Thank you to the following news organization for supporting this event and sharing program information with their readers:



#galswithLEI Global & EWC Seminars Live Joint Webinar:

Indigenous Voices, Indigenous Environmentalism

Thursday, July 15, 2021 | 3:30 – 5:00pm, Hawaii

Indigenous peoples, who comprise just 5% of the world’s population, contribute significantly to the world’s environmental diversity as more than 80 % of the world’s remaining biodiversity are found within their lands. As such, climate change poses a dire and immediate threat to the survival of Indigenous people worldwide, due to their dependence upon and close relationship with the environment and its resources. Preservation of the environment, transmitted as traditions of generational stewardship, is at the center of their existence, identity and culture. With traditional ceremonial practices rooted in the interconnectedness of the environment and people, Indigenous environmentalism offers perspectives on climate issues that underscore social and economic equity. The newest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, in fact, states that there is “high agreement that Indigenous knowledge is critical for adaptation.” Within Indigenous communities worldwide, women have been and continue to be at the forefront of grassroots movements to secure land and territorial rights and equitable representation globally. Indigenous women have successfully defended their lands, territories and natural resources from private and government interests through advocacy and concerted, collective action, while developing coping strategies and mechanisms to minimize the impact of climate change. Indigenous women are, thus, critical allies in climate change adaptation and mitigation. Join Indigenous women leaders, environmentalists and activists representing Native American, Filipino, Indonesian Dayak and Native Hawaiian communities in giving voice to the importance and value of adaptive practices and processes, sustainable management and use of natural resources, and collaborative efforts across Indigenous communities globally in addressing environmental degradation and climate change.

Keynote Speaker:

  • Heidi TODACHEENE, Senior Advisor, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of Interior, Washington, DC, USA

Panelists: (listed in speaking order)

  • Dina GILIO-WHITAKER, Author, As Long as Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice, from Colonization to Standing Rock and Lecturer, American Indian Studies, California State University San Marcos, San Clemente, California, USA @DinaGWhit
  • Joan CARLING, Co-convener, Indigenous Peoples Major Group for Sustainable Development, Baguio City, Philippines @JoanCarling
  • Emmanuela SHINTA, Filmmaker, When Women Fight & KAHARAPEN and Founder & Director, Ranu Welum Foundation, Kalimantan, Indonesia @EmmanuelaShin
  • Ulalia WOODSIDE, Executive Director, The Nature Conservancy of Hawaiʻi and Palmyra, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA @UlaliaWoodside


  • Stephine POSTON, Owner & Chief Executive Officer, Poston& Associates LLC and Changing Faces Seminar Alum, Sandia Pueblo, New Mexico, USA @SandiaPoston

Click here for headshots and biographies.

To view the webinar via YouTube, please click on the video below or the following link: https://youtu.be/f16s8ZPge9E.


Divided by History: India-Pakistan, Israel-Palestine, Korea-Japan  

Journalists share challenges of reporting cross-border conflicts  
Tuesday, June 22 | 5:00 - 6:30pm, Hawaii

Long-running security and trade conflicts across tense, often hostile borders endanger lives and cause economic hardships for countless millions in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. When these conflicts erupt and dominate headlines, journalists on both sides of volatile borders face challenges in reporting balanced, objective and fully covered stories.  

In South Asia, the post-WWII partition of British India creating Pakistan led to 15 million people moving -- Muslims to Pakistan, Hindus and Sikhs to India -- and 500,000 to 2 million deaths in the ensuing violence. Territorial disputes against Indian rule in the Kashmir region have endured for three decades, claiming tens of thousands of lives in an often violent environment between the two nuclear-armed neighbors. Cross-border trade is difficult if not impossible.  

In the Middle East, the conflict over a Palestinian homeland is again dominating global headlines. Protests sparked by the threatened eviction of Palestinians from East Jerusalem led to Hamas launching missiles into Israel, then an Israeli air bombardment and ground artillery attack on Gaza. The recent death and destruction have further deepened humanitarian challenges in Gaza. The long-running violence has threatened generations of Palestinians and Israelis with no peaceful resolution in sight.  

In Northeast Asia, the Japanese occupation of the Korean Peninsula from 1910-1945 continues to drive tensions between Japan and South Korea that started earlier in history. A South Korean court ruling that survivors of Koreans forced to labor for Japanese corporations during World War II could sue those companies has increased bilateral tensions in recent years. The two countries are also locked in a territorial dispute over a group of islands claimed by both in the Sea of Japan (called the “East Sea” by Koreans).   

For journalists covering cross-border conflicts and disputes, presenting balanced coverage with diverse perspectives is not only professionally challenging, this can sometimes threaten their personal safety and security, especially with the rise of misinformation and conspiracy theories. For the last 20 years the East-West Center has engaged journalists in a series of programs that focus on reporting cross-border issues of mutual, often sensitive and volatile concern to countries in the region. These cross-border media programs include reporting trips, dialogues and workshops to provide first-hand information, build sustained information networks, and encourage media collaboration. Hear from prominent reporters about how they navigate the challenges of accurately reporting on the politically and socially fraught foreign relationships and enduring conflicts between India and Pakistan, Israel and Palestine, and Japan and South Korea.

Speakers: (listed in speaking order)

  • Aditi PHADNIS, Consulting Political Editor and former National Political Editor, Business Standard, New Delhi, India
  • Kamal SIDDIQI, Director, Center for Excellence in Journalism at IBA and former Editor, The Express Tribune, Karachi, Pakistan @Tribunian
  • Shira RUBIN, Israel/Palestinian Territories Correspondent, The Washington Post, Tel Aviv, Israel @shira_rubin
  • Khaldoun BARGHOUTI, Israeli Affairs Editor, Al-Hayat al-Jadida, Ramallah, Palestine @KHBarghouti
  • Taketsugu SATO, Senior Foreign Affairs and National Security Correspondent, The Asahi Shimbun and Visiting Professor, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan @Taketsugu_Sato
  • Son Taek WANG, Research Associate, Yeosijae (Future Consensus Institute) and former Diplomatic Correspondent, YTN News Network, Seoul, South Korea @woovovo


  • Owen ULLMANN, Executive Editor, The International Economy magazine and former Managing Editor of World News, USA Today, Washington, DC, USA @OUllmann

Click here for headshots and biographies.

To view the webinar via YouTube, please click on the video below or the following link: https://youtu.be/vvAWUyL5vhc.


Korea Press Foundation & East-West Center Present:

Climate Change and Role of News Media

Thursday, May 20 | 2:30 - 4:10pm, Hawaii

Join the East-West Center and the Korea Press Foundation online for a live discussion featuring distinguished panelists from Korea, the United States, and Southeast Asia. The program will be simultaneously interpreted in Korean-English and will be broadcasted live on Zoom and Youtube. This forum is designed for multinational journalists and informed audiences on current issues of common concerns, and is open to the public. 

To view the 4th KPF-EWC Forum: Climate Change and Role of News Media on YouTube, please click on the video above or the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqNeO4FZrSg.


Health Reporting: Challenges and Lessons from India and Pakistan

Saturday, April 24 | 4:00-5:30pm Pakistan; 4:30-6:00pm India; 7:00-8:30am Washington DC

Health is often considered secondary to economic growth in much of the developing world. It is not a subject on which elections are fought and won and rarely are there protest movements seeking better healthcare facilities. Women’s health ranks even lower on the priority list. During covid the limitations of weak healthcare systems have been especially evident. In the past year journalists have also faced the additional burden of developing pandemic literacy. In India and Pakistan, health remains an ignored issue. Pakistan ranked 88 out of 107 countries in the 2020 Global Hunger Index and India ranked 94. Both countries spend only about 1% of their GDP on public health, according to the World Bank, and both have high rates of infectious diseases like tuberculosis and high mortality rates of mothers and newborns. Climate change has burdened the already fragile public health system further. Journalists from Karachi, Lahore, Srinagar, New Delhi and Lucknow will discuss the challenges of reporting on health in their countries; why this is often an ignored subject; and how conflict, often the single largest narrative, can overshadow public health. They will also share best practices in covering health and answer questions from the audience.

Speakers: (listed in alphabetical order)


  • Disha SHETTY, Independent Science Journalist, Pune

Click here for headshots and biographies.


To view the webinar via YouTube, please click on the video below or the following link: https://youtu.be/DfWU2e18D0I.

This health reporting webinar is part of the East-West Center's ongoing series of cross-border reporting programs for Indian and Pakistani journalists.


Asian Americans Unsilenced

Tuesday, April 20 | 3:00 - 4:30pm, Hawaii

People of Asian descent have been living in the United States for more than 160 years, and have repeatedly been targets of xenophobia, bigotry and violence. In modern history, the attack on Pearl Harbor led to the forced internment of 120,000 Japanese Americans – an estimated 62 percent of whom were U.S. citizens. Refugees from Southeast Asia faced routine discrimination and hate, including attacks by Ku Klux Klan members, following the Vietnam War. An early 80s recession blamed on the rise the Japanese auto industry, similarly, saw a Chinese American beaten to death by two Detroit autoworkers who thought he was Japanese. In addition, the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 resulted in targeted racial profiling, hate crimes and other acts of discrimination against South Asians, Muslims and Arab Americans.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, three in ten Asian Americans have reported being subjected to racist slurs or jokes according to a recent Pew Research Center survey and the non-profit, Stop Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Hate, documented 3,795 racially motivated attacks against Asian Americans from March 2020 to February 2021. Two-thirds of these altercations were against women. The recent trend of anti-Asian American hate has been fueled, in part, by China’s ascension as a trade and cultural rival to the U.S. and, in part, by the political labeling of COVID-19 as the “Chinese virus” or “Kung-flu.” In an effort to mitigate this xenophobia, President Joe Biden signed an executive order in January acknowledging the role political rhetoric has played in the rise of anti-Asian sentiment and hate incidents targeting Asian Americans, and on March 31st announced the reestablishment of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, with an initial emphasis on ending anti-Asian bias and violence. Hear prominent Asian Americans across politics, journalism, civil society, and the arts reflect on the wave of racialized attacks targeting their community, and give voice to the discrimination they’ve faced; the importance of allyship and solidarity across communities of color; and best practices in raising awareness, challenging stereotypes and ensuring greater equality for the many different groups within the Asian American umbrella.

Speakers: (listed in speaking order)

  • Ted W. LIEU (D-CA, 33), U.S. Representative and Member, Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, Washington, DC, USA @tedlieu
  • Manjusha “Manju” P. KULKARNI, Executive Director, Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council and Co-founder, Stop AAPI Hate, Los Angeles, CA @KulkarniManju
  • Rizwan MANJI, Actor, Schitt’s Creek, Outsourced and The Magicians, Studio City, CA, USA @Riz_Manji
  • Madalene Xuan-Trang MIELKE, President and CEO, Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies, Washington, DC, USA @APAICS
  • Kimmy YAM, Reporter, NBC Asian America, NBC News, New York City, NY @kimmythepooh


  • Ashley WESTERMAN, Journalist, National Public Radio, Washington, DC, USA @_aswesterman

Click here for headshots and biographies.

To view the webinar via YouTube, please click on the video below or the following link:  https://youtu.be/O_9_Oh0ePBo.

Thank you to the following organizations for supporting this event and sharing program information with their communities:



Korea Press Foundation & East-West Center Present:

New US Administration and Its Policy Toward Korea-US Relations and North Korea

Tuesday, March 9 | 2:30 - 4:00pm, Hawaii



On the Frontlines of Hate Webinar

Tuesday, March 2, 2021 | 4:00 – 5:30pm, Hawaii

Around the world, debates on national security, immigration, equality, and public health have become rabbit holes for the exploitation of fear and hate, contributing to a disturbing groundswell of xenophobia, racism, and scare-mongering. Neo-Nazi and white supremacy movements are on the march while instances of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and harassment against the religious “other”, by governments, individuals or social groups, were reported in 185 out of 198 countries in a recent survey by the Pew Research Center. Hate crimes have also been rising as competing ideologies feed off each other, resulting in what is referred to as "reciprocal radicalization." These are not isolated phenomenon or the loud voices of a few fringe people. Hate is moving into the mainstream – in liberal democracies and authoritarian systems alike – undermining social cohesion, eroding shared values, and laying the foundation for violence. Hear from global civil society leaders working to call attention to and counter hate speech; raise awareness about respect for human rights, non-discrimination, and tolerance; and interrupt violence via intervention and deradicalization.

Speakers: (listed in speaking order)

  • Elif İrem AZ, Consultant, Media Watch on Hate Speech, Hrant Dink Foundation, Istanbul, Turkey @HrantDinkFnd
  • James GOMEZ, Regional Director, Asia Centre, Bangkok, Thailand and Johor Bahru, Malaysia @asiacentre_org
  • Christian PICCIOLINI, Author, Breaking Hate: Confronting The New Culture of Extremism; and Founder, Free Radicals Project, Chicago, IL, USA @cpicciolini @FreeRadicalsOrg
  • Oren SEGAL, Vice-President, Center on Extremism, Anti-Defamation League, New York City, NY USA @orensegal


  • Nathan BOMEY, Reporter, USA TODAY and Author, Bridge Builders: Bringing People Together in a Polarized Age, Washington, DC, USA @NathanBomey

Click here for headshots and biographies.

To view the webinar via YouTube, please click on the video below or the following link:  https://youtu.be/PLcPPeBwPyM.

Thank you to the following organizations for supporting this event and sharing program information with their members:




After the Coup: What's Next for Myanmar Webinar

Tuesday, February 23, 2021 | 5:00 – 6:30pm, Hawaii

When the East-West Center held its International Media Conference in Yangon in 2014, it was a time of great excitement, hope and inspiration for the country’s media; Myanmar journalists said it was the first time they felt safe to speak freely after nearly 50 years of military rule and a fragile transition to democracy in 2010. Although journalists continued to face challenges during the transition to democracy, the impact of the military coup that imposed a yearlong state of emergency on Feb. 1, 2021, again has journalists fearing for their safety and the survival of an independent media.

“Many journalists including me worry about our safety and we are moving around from place to place,” an EWC media alumnus shared. A story in Frontier Myanmar under the headline “ Bad things are going to happen’: coup puts media on edge” reported that “The junta has not yet arrested journalists en masse, shut down media houses or re-imposed censorship, but Myanmar’s media workers are bracing for the worst.” Journalists and prominent activists have been detained and there are social media reports of mass arrests. Internet connection has been intermittently shut down and residents fear the military will build a firewall like its neighbor China on the northeast border. Hear journalists in Myanmar and the region, and a Myanmar expert in the US discuss what’s next for Myanmar: the future of a free press, free speech, and democracy; the role of China; and what the global community can do to support a return to democracy. 

Speakers(listed in speaking order)

  • Soe MYINT, Editor-in-chief, Mizzima News, Yangon, Myanmar @sm_mizzima
  • Aung ZAW, Editor-in-chief, The Irrawaddy, Yangon, Myanmar @IrrawaddyNews
  • Kavi CHONGKITTAVORN, Senior Columnist, Bangkok Post and former Editor, Myanmar Times, Bangkok, Thailand
  • Christina FINK, Professor and Myanmar Expert, Elliott School of International Affairs, The George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA @ElliottSchoolGW


  • Ramy INOCENCIO, Asia Correspondent, CBS News, Beijing, China @RamyInocencio

Click here for headshots and biographies.

To view the webinar via YouTube, please click on the video below or the following link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsBD_r9B044

Thank you to the following organizations for supporting this event and sharing program information with their members:




A Global Contagion of Infodemics & Conspiracy Theories Webinar

Tuesday, February 16, 2021 | 4:00 – 5:30pm, Hawaii

Conspiracy theories have simmered on the fringes of global society for years. But as COVID-19 spread across our physical world in 2020, an “infodemic” invaded our virtual one, and conspiracy theories, promising answers to those experiencing confusion, isolation and grief in an upside-down world, found new audiences. In India, Hindu nationalists tweeted and retweeted the hashtag #CoronaJihads as they accused Muslims of spreading the virus. In Europe, meanwhile, 5-G cell phone towers were vandalized in the belief that they activate the virus while an anti-vaccination movement threatened global health and Jewish conspiracy theories threatened pluralism and fueled hate crime. Similarly, in Southeast Asia, political parties and candidates have actively circulated disinformation and inflamed religious tensions to discredit their political opponents. In the U.S., a growing number of suburban women and wellness influencers adopted QAnon beliefs and circulated fanciful stories of a global cabal and election fraud. Although the particulars may be new, the appeal of conspiracy theories is not.

Conspiracy theories thrive when uncertainty is high; trust in institutions, accessible information, and its sources is low; and in-groups fear the loss of status, privilege or freedom. The intertwining of disinformation with fact, fragmentation of media into competing partisan bubbles, political opportunism, social media algorithms, and additional time spent online during lockdown have, moreover, amplified and extended the reach of conspiracy theories within the global citizenry. Conspiracy theory communities have also adapted to platform bans by moving to alternative networks and taking their messaging offline through rallies and publishing print newspapers. Hear prominent international experts explore the rise of conspiracy theories globally; the societal fault lines that have provided fertile soil for the propagation of these ideas; the mechanisms that have reinforced and disseminated these ideas; and how pre- and debunking might inoculate citizens from and delegitimize conspiratorial messages.

Speakers: (listed in speaking order)

  • Stephan LEWANDOWSKY, Co-author, Conspiracy Theory Handbook; and Professor of Psychology and Chair of Cognitive Psychology, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom @STWorg
  • Tom ROSENSTIEL, Executive Director, American Press Institute, Arlington, VA, USA @TomRosenstiel
  • Amir ALI, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, India
  • Anna-Sophie HARLING, Managing Director, Europe and Executive Vice President, NewsGuard, London, United Kingdom @asharling
  • Ross TAPSELL, Director, ANU Malaysia Institute, and Senior Lecturer, Department of Gender, Media and Culture, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australian @RossTapsell


  • Charlotte ALTER, Senior Correspondent, TIME, Brooklyn, NY, USA @CharlotteAlter

Click here for headshots and biographies.

To view the webinar via YouTube, please click on the video below or the following link:  https://youtu.be/N09DQY8cBvk

Thank you to the following organizations for supporting this event and sharing program information with their members:



The Future of Media 

Tuesday, December 8, 2020 | 3:00 - 4:15pm, Hawaii

Although “The Future of Media” is a topic that has been around forever, it has taken on a whole new meaning with the Covid-19 pandemic. Drastic drops in ad revenue have led to layoffs and closures, while misinformation and attacks on journalists and press freedom have grown. On the other hand, there is “evidence of stronger community investment in journalism and increased audience engagement in reporting,” according to the Journalism and the Pandemic Project. "These comparatively optimistic findings may be key to reimagining postpandemic journalism as a more mission-driven and audience-centered public service."

A report by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism found an increase in news consumption during the pandemic and an "accelerated move to digital media and mobile media and various kinds of platforms…a ray of hope may be that increasing numbers of people are willing to pay for news online."

Hear from media experts and innovators about how journalists and news organizations can best prepare/transform themselves to succeed in a post-pandemic media environment by cutting reliance on advertising, building community-focused media, developing new journalism and entrepreneurial skills, and following different career paths as jobs start to bounce back.

Speakers:  (listed in alphabetical order)

  • Rama MAMUAYA, Founder and CEO, DailySocial.id, Indonesia @rampok
  • Tim WILLIAMSON, Managing Director, Telum Media, Singapore @timwilliamson
  • Anita ZIELINA, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, City University of New York @Zielina


  • Alan SOON, Co-founder, Splice Media, Singapore @alansoon

Click here for headshots and biographies.

To view the webinar via YouTube, please click on the video below or the following link:  https://youtu.be/tYs85fg29MY


EWC Seminars & EWC in Washington Present:

Asia Perspectives on Future Relations as America Votes

Tuesday, October 27 | 3:00 - 4:30pm, Hawaii

On the eve of America’s 2020 presidential elections, citizens and governments in Asia Pacific are tuned in, eager for news, information and insights on what the election results will bring for relations with their countries. The hardening rivalry between the United States and China is the single biggest feature of US policy over the past four years and of the 2020 discussions regarding Asia. Experts from across Asia express a range of responses to the costs, benefits, and durability of the hardening rivalry; and reflect on how to navigate the US-China rivalry while managing myriad other issues in bilateral relations with the United States. There is a sense in the region, perhaps as much as at home in the United States that the US faces a critical moment.

Continuing an innovative Asia Matters for America/America Matters for Asia project of tracking U.S. administrations and presidential candidates regarding the region, this EWC Seminars Live will preview the findings of a new EWC report on US Asia Policy & Debate in the 2020 Elections and Regional Responses. The report assesses key issues in US regional relations and the hopes, worries, and expectations of regional allies and friends based on dozens of interviews.

Speakers:  (listed in speaking order)

  • Robert SUTTER, Professor of Practice of International Affairs, George Washington University; co-author of EWC’s "US Asia Policy & Debate in the 2020 Elections and Regional Responses," Washington, DC, USA
  • Nirmal GHOSH, US Bureau Chief, The Straits Times, Washington, DC, USA @karmanomad
  • Sunetra CHOUDHURY, National Political Editor, Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India @sunetrac
  • Anthony KUHN, NPR's Correspondent in Seoul, South Korea @akuhnNPRnews


  • Satu LIMAYE, Vice President and Director, East-West Center Washington; co-author of EWC’s "US Asia Policy & Debate in the 2020 Elections and Regional Responses," Washington, DC, USA @SatuLimaye 

Click here for headshots and biographies.

To view the webinar via YouTube, please click on the video below or the following link:  https://youtu.be/rdy5BqAwBsc

Thank you to the following organization for supporting this event and sharing program information with their members:





The East-West Center and South China Morning Post Present:

The Future of US-China-Hong Kong Relations and Media Challenges

Tuesday, October 6 | 2:30 - 4:00pm, Hawaii

The US government sees China eroding Hong Kong's freedoms in violation of Beijing's "one country, two systems" commitment. For Americans, Hong Kong is a case of a powerful dictatorship forcing authoritarianism on a small and relatively free community, and also an instance of China disregarding an international commitment. Beijing sees Hong Kong as a haven for intolerably subversive ideas, and alleges that Washington is using Hong Kong as a tool to weaken China. The Trump Administration has levied sanctions against Chinese officials over the National Security Law and has several advisors pushing for a decoupling of the two economies.  Meanwhile the Biden-Harris team promises to make liberal values an important part of US foreign policy. Trump and Biden are competing to appear tough on China as part of their election campaign strategies. Hong Kong is one of the friction points in a rapidly deteriorating US-China relationship in the wake of the ongoing trade war and expulsion of journalists by both countries.


  • Gary LIU, CEO, South China Morning Post, Hong Kong @garyliu
  • Keith RICHBURG, Director, Journalism and Media Studies Centre, University of Hong Kong; and former Washington Post China Correspondent, Hong Kong @keithrichburg
  • Robert DELANEY, North America Bureau Chief and Columnist, South China Morning Post, former reporter in China for Dow Jones Newswires and Bloomberg, Washington, DC, USA @RFDelaney
  • Lingling WEI, Senior China Correspondent, Wall Street Journal, based in Beijing until China expelled Journal reporters in 2020; co-author, Superpower Showdown: How the Battle Between Trump and Xi Threatens a New Cold War, New York, USA @Lingling_Wei 


  • Angie LAU, Editor-in-Chief, CEO, and Founder, Forkast.News, Hong Kong @AngieTVLau

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To view the webinar via YouTube, please click on the video below or the following link:  https://youtu.be/OeJYxXamVQc

Thank you to the following organizations for supporting this event and sharing program information with their members:



Combating Bigotry with Satire Briefing

Tuesday, September 22 | 4:00 – 5:15pm, Hawaii

Comedy, in its worst and best forms, helps societies test what it means to say “us” and what lines we can or cannot bear crossing. Precisely because of its ability to poke fun at those in power or serve as segue into meaningful commentary, satire is both clearly visible and applauded in film and television, from The Muslims are Coming to The Last Man Standing. That said, the #OscarsSoWhite movement which followed on from #BlackLivesMatter, has shed light on the lack of diversity and inclusion within the entertainment industry as well as the ongoing use of racial, religious, and gendered stereotypes, which normalize prejudice. Hear well-known comedians discuss the power of comedy and satire in informing audiences and combating religious and racial bigotry while also touching on the challenges of poking fun at belief systems or provocative social issues.

Speakers: (listed in speaking order)

  • Ashley DEE, Comedian and Activist, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA @ashleydeecomedy
  • Dean OBEIDALLAH, Comedian, Writer and Co-director, The Muslims are Coming; and Host, "The Dean Obeidallah Show" On SiriusXM, New York City, New York, USA @DeanObeidallah
  • Jenny YANG, Comedian, Actor, and Executive Show Editor, “Last Man Standing,” Los Angeles, California, USA  @jennyyangtv


  • Jaweed KALEEM, National Correspondent, The Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, California, USA @jaweedkaleem

Click here for headshots and biographies.

To view the webinar via YouTube, please click on the video below or the following link:  https://youtu.be/VOfyQrgWZt4.

Mahalo to the following organizations for supporting this event and sharing it with their members:




Global Civil Rights Activists Find Their Collective Voice Webinar

Tuesday, September 8 | 4:00 – 5:30pm, Hawaii

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Black Lives Matter protests have erupted across the globe, connecting millions of minorities in calling attention to economic disparities and inequalities, institutional discrimination, and police brutality in their own countries. The broad spread of these protests has amplified minority voices and their demands for change. In Tunisia, where upwards of 15% of the population identifies as black, protesters in Tunis gathered to demand educational and awareness efforts aimed at fighting racial discrimination and xenophobia. In the United Kingdom, the protests speak to the vulnerabilities felt by blacks, Asians, and minority ethnic peoples of which 1,500 have died in police custody since 1990. In Australia, huge crowds turned out in cities like Sydney and Melbourne, over systemic racism targeting Aboriginal people and the deaths of more than 400 Aboriginals since 1991 at the hands of police. Hear from a new generation of civil rights activists discuss how they’re finding their collective voice as well as fighting back against inequality, systematic racism, and police brutality.

Speakers: (listed in speaking order, Ms. Mosbah and Ms. Bangura appearing via pre-recorded video)

  • Adam GREEN, Associate Professor of American History, Department of History, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA @UChicagoHistory
  • DeRay MCKESSON, Civil Rights Activist, Podcast Host “Pod Save the People,” and Author, On the Other Side of Freedom: The Case for Hope, Baltimore, Maryland, USA @deray
  • Melina ABDULLAH, Co-founder, Black Lives Matter Los Angeles, and Professor, Pan-African Studies, California State University, Los Angeles, CA, USA @DocMellyMel
  • Saadia MOSBAH, President, M’nemty, Tunis, Tunisia @MosbahSaadia
  • Siana BANGURA, Producer, 1500 & Counting, Writer, and Community Organizer, Black Lives Matter UK, London, United Kingdom @sianaarrgh
  • Cheryl AXLEBY, Co-Chair, Change the Record; and Co-Chair and CEO, Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement South Australia, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services, Melbourne, Australia @NATSILS_


  • Lenneal J. HENDERSON, Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Public and International Affairs, The University of Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland; and Dean, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Virginia State University, Claremont, Virginia, USA @publicaffairsub

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To view the webinar via YouTube, please click on the video below or the following link:  https://youtu.be/4hletf_pXHM

Mahalo to the following organizations for supporting this event and sharing it with their members:




Partisan Warfare and Voting in 2020 America Briefing

Tuesday, August 25 | 4:00 – 5:15pm, Hawaii

Political participation in the United States has been contested since the founding of the nation and defined by distinct periods of electoral expansion and contraction. The US has at times excluded certain segments of the population from the voting process:  women, racial and ethnic minorities, landless whites, members of certain faiths, and most recently, citizens with felony convictions. For each of these groups, securing the right to vote has been won through collective action amid or following periods of immense social transformation or economic crisis, with far-reaching impact on partisan politics. As COVID-19 profoundly alters how Americans vote and candidates campaign, the 2020 US elections are expected to be extraordinarily consequential for the American electoral and political system. ​The Trump administration’s response to the pandemic and the economic crisis it has triggered, along with protests demanding racial justice, may also result in an influx of new voters or voters crossing party lines, thereby changing the electoral base and ushering in partisan realignment. Hear from former presidential speechwriters as they discuss how the 2020 elections may be more or less inclusive and may reshape the Republican and Democratic parties and American democracy itself. 

Speakers: (listed in speaking order)

  • Mary Kate CARY, Former George H.W. Bush Speechwriter and Senior Fellow for Presidential Studies, Miller Center, University of Virginia, Washington, DC, USA @mkcary
  • David LITT, Former Barack Obama Speechwriter and Author, Democracy in One Book or Less, Washington, DC, USA @davidlitt

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To view the webinar via YouTube, please click on the video below or the following link:  https://youtu.be/RKd1yBXTZOI.

Mahalo to the following organizations for supporting this event and sharing it with their members



Democracy in the Balance Webinar

Thursday, August 13 | 4:00 – 5:30pm, Hawaii

The COVID-19 pandemic is posing a major test to public confidence in the leaders of democratic societies as well as in democracy itself. The pandemic strikes at a time when democracy and freedom are in global decline. The erosion, in particular, of press freedom is both a symptom and contributor to the breakdown of other democratic institutions and principles. Elected leaders in many democracies have made explicit attempts to undermine the separation of powers, foment social divisions, and silence critical media voices. Hear prominent journalists discuss how democracy in Israel, India, the US, and the Philippines is being eroded by contested elections, polarization and populist consolidation of power, weak leadership, and disinformation.

Speakers: (listed in speaking order)

  • Khaldoun BARGHOUTI, Israeli Affairs Editor, Al-Hayat al-Jadida, Ramallah, Palestine @KHBarghouti
  • Arfa KHANUM, Senior Editor, The Wire, New Delhi, India @khanumarfa
  • Lillian CUNNINGHAM, Creator and Host “Presidential” and “Constitutional” podcasts, The Washington Post, Washington, DC, USA @lily_cunningham
  • D.J. YAP, Senior Reporter, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Manila, Philippines @deejayapINQ


  • Seth C. MCKEE, Professor of Political Science, Oklahoma State University, and Editor-in-Chief, Political Research Quarterly, Stillwater, OK, USA @OKstatePoliSci

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To view the webinar via YouTube, please click on the video below or the following link:  https://youtu.be/03rmb5BJFY0.

Mahalo to the following organizations for supporting this event and sharing it with their members:



The Learning Curve: Public Health Experts on Lessons from Covid-19 Response in Asia and the US Webinar

Tuesday, July 28 | 4:00 – 5:30pm, Hawaii 

The world has looked to South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan and Vietnam as successful examples in their initial responses to Covid-19; their case numbers and deaths have been lower compared to western countries. With the SARS and MERS pandemics still fresh in mind, these Asian governments reacted quickly, firmly and robustly to control the pandemic, and they continue to do so as second and third waves threaten their populations. In contrast, the United States leads the world by far in total numbers of coronavirus cases and deaths with new outbreaks and fatalities surging. Hospitals in most seriously affected communities continue to be short on supplies. Americans say government policy has sometimes been inconsistent and confusing, and wearing masks has become a political issue, not just a matter of health.

Two internationally respected public health and infectious disease experts will compare and contrast the responses taken by the United States and examples in Asia in addressing the Covid-19 pandemic; share lessons learned from these approaches; and offer best steps forward for the world to defeat the current pandemic and prevent future ones.

Speakers: (listed in speaking order)

  • Dr. Michael T. OSTERHOLM, Regents Professor and Director, Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, University of Minnesota, and Author, Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs, Minneapolis, MN, USA @mtosterholm
  • Dr. Keiji FUKUDA, Director and Clinical Professor, University of Hong Kong School of Public Health, Hong Kong SAR China @HKU_SPH


  • Maryn MCKENNA, Freelance Journalist and Senior Fellow, Center for the Study of Human Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA @marynmck

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To view the webinar via YouTube, please click on the video below or the following link:  https://youtu.be/AzpKt5P1EBo.

Mahalo to the following organization for supporting this event and sharing it with their members:



Maria Ressa: Press Freedom Under Fire

Tuesday, July 14 | 4:00 – 5:30pm, Hawaii time

Journalists around the world have seen increased attacks on press freedom. Acclaimed Philippine journalist Maria Ressa, a global advocate for press freedom, was recently sentenced up to six years in prison for cyber libel. The conviction, which she is appealing, has been protested by supporters around the world who believe the charges were fabricated in retribution for her unflinching coverage of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s Administration. Ressa, CEO and executive editor of the Rappler, has also led a battle against disinformation, particularly against what she calls the "weaponization" of social media platforms by authoritarian leaders and extremists. After her conviction Maria warned: “We are meant to be a cautionary tale…Don’t be afraid -- if you don’t exercise your rights, you will lose them.”

In 2018 Time magazine recognized Maria, along with several other persecuted or killed journalists the magazine called "the Guardians," as Person of the Year. The East-West Center also honored Maria as a "Journalist of Courage and Impact" at the 2018 International Media Conference in Singapore. Maria's EWC Seminars Live remarks will focus on attacks on press freedom and democracy around the world, in addition to her own case.

Maria Ressa will speak as the East-West Center's 2020 George Chaplin Fellowship in Distinguished Journalism honoree. The George Chaplin Fellowship in Distinguished Journalism was established in 1986 to honor the leadership and ideals of the late George Chaplin, an enthusiastic advocate of cultural exchange and former editor-in-chief of The Honolulu Advertiser. Chaplin Fellows are chosen because of their significant contributions to journalism.


  • Maria RESSA, CEO and Executive Editor, Rappler, Manila, Philippines @mariaressa


  • Sheila S. CORONEL, Academic Dean of the Graduate School of Journalism and Director of the Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism, Columbia University and Co-founder, Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism @SheilaCoronel

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To view the webinar via YouTube, please click on the video below or the following link:  https://youtu.be/31Xeet5v64w.

Mahalo to the following organizations for supporting this event and sharing with their members:



Frontline Reporting from COVID Hot Spots Webinar

Thursday, July 2nd | 4:00 – 5:30pm, Hawaii time

Journalists in COVID-19 hot spots have faced unprecedented professional challenges and personal risks to cover life and death issues. Our seven US and Asian speakers have been on the ground reporting from Wuhan’s seafood market and hospitals amid local government cover-ups; in East Asian streets and Seattle nursing homes as the deadly virus spread; and in South Asia with massive migrations of hungry workers escaping India’s locked-down cities and hundreds of Pakistani journalists contracting the virus. Journalists have still faced growing government threats and media shutdowns. Hear the journalists' insights, back stories, challenges and lessons learned in the face of an expected second wave.

Panelists: (listed in speaking order)

  • Linda LEW, Reporter, South China Morning Post, Hong Kong SAR @Lindadalew
  • Ramy INOCENCIO, Asia Correspondent, CBS News, Beijing, China @RamyInocencio
  • Jungmin LEE, Reporter, Korea Broadcasting System, Seoul, South Korea @jungminleee98
  • Ruth CABAL, Senior Correspondent, CNN Philippines, Manila, Philippines @ruthcabal15
  • Daniel BEEKMAN, Staff Reporter, The Seattle Times, Washington, USA @DBeekman
  • Saumya KHANDELWAL, Freelance Photojournalist, New Delhi, India @saumyaphotos
  • Aneela KHALID, National Correspondent, Independent Urdu, Peshawar, Pakistan @aneelakhaled


  • Annalisa BURGOS, KITV-4 Island News, Honolulu, HI, USA @annalisaburgos

Click here for headshots and biographies.

To view the webinar via YouTube, please click on the video below or the following link:  https://youtu.be/anw_iXprV2c


Fighting Disinformation on the Frontlines Webinar

Tuesday, June 16th | 4:00 – 5:30pm, Hawaii time

It is imperative that societies have access to accurate information in critical moments such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Disinformation can have life and death consequences. At the same time, there is growing distrust in health experts and scientific data. Hear from diverse experts in the U.S. and Asia Pacific engaged in combating disinformation on the front lines through international and community fact-checking networks, social media platforms, and news literacy education.

Panelists: (listed in speaking order)

  • Alan C. MILLER, Founder and CEO, News Literacy Project, Washington, DC, USA @alanmillerNLP
  • Baybars ÖRSEK, Director, International Fact-Checking Network, Florida, USA @baybarsorsek
  • Harry SUFEHMI, Founder, MAFINDO, Jakarta, Indonesia @sufehmi
  • Aya LOWE, Strategic Partner Development, APAC, Facebook, Singapore @AyaLowe


  • Susan KREIFELS, Media Programs Manager, East-West Center @EWCSeminars
  • Katie BARTELS, Program Coordinator, East-West Center @EWCSeminars

Click here for headshots and biographies.

Click here for panelist PowerPoint presentations.

To view the webinar via YouTube, please click on the video below or the following link:  https://youtu.be/eJ4B4FHpaK0.


As the Center continues to envision innovative ways to shift its immersive, experiential media programs to fit our new reality, your support is needed now more than ever. Please consider contributing to our efforts donating $50, $100 or more to the Center’s “Programs for Journalists”. Thank you!


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Contact Information 

For registration questions:

Sara Lam
Seminars Program Assistant
Phone: 1-808-944-7727
[email protected]


For content questions:

Susan Kreifels
Media Programs Manager
Phone: 1-808-944-7176
[email protected]