The 2015 edition of the State Department’s Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists had a unique twist. A half-dozen alumni from the program’s inaugural year (2006) joined Bob Woodward at the launch session in Washington D.C. to share the long-term impact of their participation. All told, 90 journalists from 80 different countries traveled across the U.S. for this year’s edition, ending their activities in New York.
As usual, a great many memorable things were spoken and heard this year. Murrow alumnus Namini Wijedasa, from Sri Lanka, told attendees “I’m a journalist because I believe in holding truth to power,” while Secretary of State John Kerry told the group “It should not be dangerous to tell the truth.” Then it was off to various J-schools:
Following their time in Washington, the journalists split up into groups according to their world region and traveled to universities in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina, Minnesota, New York and Oklahoma, visiting local news organizations and important cultural sites along the way. Visits to top U.S. schools of journalism are a landmark of the Murrow program, offering participants an academic perspective and chances to engage with students and professors, while developing a deeper understanding of local communities across the country.
That great second photo above shows Seba Jaafarawi of the Palestinian Territories and Hawra Mohammed from Saudi Arabia talking about social media in Raleigh, N.C. with NBC 17 news anchor Sharon Tazewell. In New York, a panel discussion featuring Vice Media co-founder Suroosh Alvi and assistant secretary for educational and cultural affairs Evan Ryan addressed the challenges of journalism in conflict zones.
FishbowlNY salutes this year’s Edward R. Murrow Program participants and wishes them well with all of their future truth-telling endeavors.