African Journalists Visit Las Vegas

Nevada Broadcasters Association CEO Bob Fisher bid a fond farewell this morning to a group of 17 visiting African journalists, in town since last Thursday under the auspices of the Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program and the World Affairs Council of Las Vegas. He tells FishbowlLA the experience ranks as one of the highlights of his 17 years as head of the organization.

On Sunday, Fisher hosted the group at his home, joined by a number of local media personalities including Chris Roman (representing Hispanic stations), Dale Davidson (Christian stations), Frank Mueller (UNLV, college stations) and Lee Solonche (PBS). Over dinner and dessert, the foreign reporters shared through an interpreter some of their overriding impressions. These included:

“There is the challenge of the limited consumption of green energy at Vegas PBS and the excessive consumption of neon and LED energy on the Strip. Between the actual way of life and the American Dream.”

“After touring Washington, D.C. and New Orleans, it seems to most of us that being in Las Vegas – we have found the “real” America. It is a combination of the American Dream with a dose of reality.”

“We learned that Americans are hard-working; that educating children is a priority; and that there is less racism and more acceptance of differences. We have felt so welcome in Las Vegas.”

When Fisher took the group on a tour of Lotus Broadcasting, home to six local radio stations, one of the first questions was how so many outlets could be owned by the same entity. Countries represented by the journalists included Djibouti, Madagascar, Mali, Senegal and Togo.