EWC Seminars Live



Designed for multinational journalists and informed audiences, EWC Seminars Live is a bimonthly 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. The 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 are unrestricted and open to the public, in addition to journalists from across the globe. EWC Seminars Live briefings are restricted and only partially open to the public. Speaker remarks are publicly accesssible, but an interactive Q&A session is limited on a first-come-first-serve basis to a maximum of 15 working journalists from any country. Freelancers are also eligible. Fluency in English is required of those participating in the briefings.


Upcoming Webinars & Briefings


Democracy in the Balance Webinar

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

The moderator will open the discussion to registered viewer questions by approximately 4:50pm. Viewers may submit questions in advance for speakers by emailing seminars@eastwestcenter.org or during the webinar by using the Q&A function in Zoom. Viewers may also join the conversation on Twitter #EWCSeminarsLive.

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

Click here for headshots and biographies.


Partisan Warfare and Voting in 2020 America Briefing

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

As EWC Seminars Live briefings are intended to build American and international journalists’ networks and inspire future stories, speaker remarks will be publicly accessible, but Q&A will be restricted to 8-15 working journalists who will address their questions directly to the speakers. Interested journalists must indicate their desire to participate in the closed Q&A on the registration form. Journalists will be selected on a first-come, first-serve basis and will be notified via an email from Center staff.

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


Past Webinars & Briefings


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

Click here for headshots and biographies.

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

Click here for headshots and biographies.


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.


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.


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

For content questions:

Susan Kreifels
Media Programs Manager
Phone: 1-808-944-7176