Senior Journalists Seminar


The East-West Center is now accepting applications for the 2018 Senior Journalists Seminar (2018SJS), which will bring together 12-16 international journalists for an immersive 21-day dialogue, study, and travel program to Washington, DC; Detroit, MI; Honolulu, HI; Yangon, Myanmar; and Tunis, Tunisia. The 2018SJS will begin in Washington, DC with an overview of the American political system, including the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment, federalism, the separation of powers, and congressional influencers on foreign policymaking. Other foundational sessions will examine the religious make-up, diversity of religious identity, and the prayer and attendance practices of the American public. In Detroit, journalists will experientially explore America’s multicultural and multi-religious society, the experiences of minority religious communities, initiatives bridging faith divides, and how cultural and religious identity, experience, and diversity is expressed in the literary, visual, performing, and media arts. The Honolulu study tour will feature participant presentations summarizing religion’s role in their home countries. Throughout the U.S. study tour, journalists will consider the political, military, and cultural engagement of the U.S. with Muslim majority regions. Travel to Yangon, Myanmar and Tunis, Tunisia will contextualize and compare religion’s role in the public sphere across democratic nations; provide first-hand exposure to and more nuanced understanding of the diversity of Muslim societies; and build the professional networks of participating journalists. Meetings with government officials and academics in all three countries will explore domestic and international counter-terrorism efforts and opportunities for cooperation. Interactive experiences will also be included to deepen journalists’ understanding of Muslim cultures through the arts, culture, and new media. Finally, the media’s role in choosing, framing, and disseminating stories with a religious element and its effective shaping of public perception and U.S. relations with Muslim majority regions will be explored.

Dates:  September 3 – 27, 2018

Study Destinations:  Washington, DC; Detroit, MI; Honolulu, HI; Yangon, Myanmar; Tunis, Tunisia

Funding:  The 2018 Senior Journalists Seminar is funded by the East-West Center, Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and the Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute and supports the participation of 12-16 journalists from the United States and countries with substantial Muslim populations. All participants are responsible for the Senior Journalists Seminar fee of USD$800.00, visa fees, health insurance and airline baggage charges. EWC encourages additional participant cost-sharing of programmatic costs and considers cost-sharing in the selection of applicants.

Eligibility:  Media professionals from print, broadcast, online, and multi-media news organizations, including editors, reporters, columnists, editorial writers, producers, bloggers, videographers, and photo journalists with a minimum of ten years of experience are eligible to apply. The Senior Journalists Seminars will include a total of 12-16 journalists from the United States and countries with substantial Muslim populations. Of the total journalists selected, SEVEN-ELEVEN will cover foreign and diplomatic relations, security, military affairs, domestic politics and government or religion and FIVE will cover the arts and/or culture, including race and/or minority issues. For more information regarding eligibility, please visit the Senior Journalists Seminar webpage.

Deadline:  Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Required Documents:  All applicants must fill out the Senior Journalists application form. In addition to the application form, applicants must also provide all of the following:

  • Letter of Interest (maximum two pages, double-spaced) including:
    • A brief description of your news organization, its reach, and your role;
    • Interest in seminar theme and its relevancy to the beat you cover
    • What you expect both to contribute and to gain from participating in the seminar
    • Possible story ideas and how the story requirement will be met in terms of dissemination
  • Resume (maximum two pages)
  • Two professional letters of recommendation, including one from your immediate supervisor describing your suitability for the program and how the news organization hopes to benefit from your participation. Recommendation letters should be signed and on letterhead.

For more information, please visit the Senior Journalists Seminar webpage.

You may also email or call Liz A. Dorn at 808-944-7368.