Improving Cross-Border Reporting: Pakistan–India Journalists Exchange and Dialogue


No Pakistani journalists are currently based in India, nor are there Indian journalists based in Pakistan. Starting in 2015, the East-West Center has organized cross-border journalism exchanges and dialogues between Pakistan and India.  This program’s overall objectives are to  (1) facilitate cross-border professional journalist exchanges through reporting trips and dialogues, (2) foster long-term professional relationships among Indian and Pakistani journalists and media organizations, (3) improve regional news coverage through objective, fact-based, first-hand reporting, and (4) instill cross-border media collaboration in the next generation of journalists through journalism student and faculty exchanges.



The first phase of this project invited seven Pakistani and seven Indian news organizations to send news teams on 10-day reporting trips to their neighbor country. The partner teams hosted the visiting teams who came from print, broadcast and online media. The capstone event for these reporting trips was a five-day dialogue for the 34 participating journalists in Colombo, Sri Lanka. During this dialogue, the partner teams developed cross-border reporting projects to pursue in the coming year. This dialogue was valuable for developing professional and personal relationships that continue through social media. The reporting trips resulted in more than 44 print and broadcast stories, many social media posts and one photo essay.



The second phase of this program started in January 2018 and focused on two groups: media gatekeepers and the next generation of journalists. Editors and news directors of the 14 news organizations that participated in the cross-border reporting trips met for a two-day dialogue in Colombo at the end of February 2018. The objective of the Gatekeepers Dialogue was to discuss ways participating news organizations could continue cross-border collaboration.

A second activity focused on Pakistani and Indian students working toward a Master’s Degree in Journalism. More than 100 students participated in virtual exchanges during three semesters starting in January 2018 through May 2019. They produced 22-plus cross-border stories. Faculty members in both countries worked together to develop curriculum that focused on cross-border media collaboration. Class activities included virtual dialogues and assigning students to team up between the two organizations and develop cross-border media projects. Students focused on projects to be completed by the end of the semester and to be counted in their overall grade. Six Indian and Pakistani faculty members met for a dialogue in Colombo in December 2018 and six students from the two countries met in Kathmandu in June 2019.  Additionally the working journalists who participated in the earlier cross-border reporting trips spoke with students about their experiences and what they gained from the program.

Journalists, students and faculty in the two countries continue to network and communicate in their social media groups.

Funding: All Exchange activities have been funded by a grant from the US Embassy in Islamabad.

Participating news organizations:


  • The Week/Malayala Manorama, New Delhi
  • NDTV
  • CNN-News 18, Noida, Uttar Pradesh
  • Ananda bazar Patrika Newspaper, Kolkata
  • MM TV
  • Hindustan Times
  • The Tribune, Karnal, Haryana


  • Daily Kawish, Hyderabad
  • Dawn News TV
  • Daily Nawa-i-waqt, Lahore
  • Dunya TV, Lahore     
  • Express News, Lahore
  • Dawn Newspaper
  • Daily Kawish, Hyderabad




Susan Kreifels
Media Programs Manager
East-West Center
1601 East West Road
Honolulu, HI  96848-1601  USA
Phone: (808) 944-7176
Fax: (808) 944-7600
Email: [email protected]