Belize, Suriname journalists to participate in flagship journalism exchange in US

In recognizing the vital role a free press plays in a free and democratic society, the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) announced on Wednesday – World Press Freedom Day – that emerging journalists from Belize and Suriname will be among more than 200 from over 100 countries and territories who will participate in the Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists, the department’s premier journalism exchange this year.

The State Department said that, in 2023, 13 cohorts of journalists will travel to the United States on a rolling basis, with the most recent delegation of international journalists arriving in late April from countries across the Middle East and North Africa, as well as Sub-Saharan Africa, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, South Sudan and Tunisia.

In June, the State Department said the next cohort of international journalists will arrive in the United States to participate in the Murrow Program.

Besides Belize and Suriname – the only two Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries named – journalists will come from Albania, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Chile, Czech Republic, Ethiopia, Ghana, Hong Kong, Lebanon, Malawi, Malaysia, Malta, Morocco, Norway, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Republic of Korea, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand and Zambia.

The State Department said the delegation from African nations is focused on print and radio journalism, and will travel in small groups for professional meetings, workshops and activities with their American counterparts in the media, as well as faculty and students at various journalism schools at US institutions of higher education.

They will travel to Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona; San Francisco, California; St. Petersburg, Florida; and Chicago, Illinois.

While in these American cities, the State Department said the delegation will engage in “key issues facing journalism and journalists, best practices in reporting, as well as gain a greater understanding of how media work in the United States.”

In June, the State Department said the multi-regional delegation of 23 journalists will travel to Los Angeles, California; Washington, D.C.; Tampa, Florida; Bloomington and Indianapolis, Indiana; and Des Moines and Iowa City, Iowa, “to focus on research and investigative journalism.”

Named after Edward R. Murrow, the iconic American broadcast journalist who forged a high standard of journalism and reporting during World War II and thereafter, the Murrow Program is a part of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), the State Department said.

“For almost two decades, the Murrow program has brought nearly 2,000 international emerging journalists to the United States for a short-term exchange with their US counterparts, which allows them to expand their networks and explore the essential role of an independent media in preserving and protecting a key pillar of democracy – a free press,” the State Department said.