The Pakistan-United States Journalists Exchange program is designed to increase and deepen public understanding of the two countries and their important relationship, one that is crucial to regional stability and the global war on terrorism. While there have been many areas of agreement and cooperation, deep mistrust remains between Americans and Pakistanis, who rarely get opportunities to engage with each other and thus rely on media for their information and viewpoints. Unresolved issues continue to pose challenges for both countries.
This exchange offers U.S. and Pakistani journalists an opportunity to gain on-the-ground insights and firsthand information about the countries they visit through meetings with policymakers, government and military officials, business and civil society leaders, and a diverse group of other community members. All participants meet at the East-West Center in Hawaii before and after their study tours for dialogues focused on sensitive issues between the two countries; preconceived attitudes among the public and media in both the United States and Pakistan; new perspectives gained through their study tours; and how media coverage between the two countries can be improved. Ten Pakistani journalists will travel to the United States and ten U.S. journalists will travel to Pakistan. This East-West Center program is funded by a grant from the U.S. Embassy Islamabad Public Affairs Section.
The program provides journalists with valuable new perspectives and insights on this critically important relationship, a wealth of contacts and resources for future reporting, and friendships with professional colleagues in the other country upon whom to draw throughout their careers.
PROGRAM DATES: March 6-23, 2013
STUDY TOUR FOR PAKISTANI JOURNALISTS (March 8-20): Washington, D.C., New York City and Columbia, Missouri*
Pakistani journalists will have an opportunity to explore U.S. policy toward Pakistan and learn more about the U.S. system of government and democracy during a visit to Washington, D.C. The New York City program will feature discussions about media coverage of Pakistan and the residual effects of 9/11 on U.S. relations with the Muslim world and the experience of Muslim Americans in the United States. Finally, participants will see a very different part of America in Columbia, Missouri. The prestigious Missouri School of Journalism will host a program that includes discussion sessions covering media topics such as roles and responsibilities of media in a democracy; the media's relationship with government, military and business; and the use of new media and new technologies for newsgathering. It also will provide unique opportunities to experience small town and rural Midwestern American life and a chance to interact with American citizens from diverse backgrounds. The program will include several public forums for Pakistani participants to share their perspectives with American audiences.
*Please note: Due to travel time, Pakistani participants will need to depart Pakistan March 5 and will return on March 26. All journalists will return through Islamabad for a debriefing session with the U.S. Embassy Islamabad staff on March 27. Pakistani participants will return to their home cities from Islamabad on March 27 in the afternoon. Please see draft Travel Calendar for Pakistani journalists for details.
STUDY TOUR FOR THE U.S. JOURNALISTS (MARCH 9-19): Islamabad and Lahore, Pakistan
American journalists will have a chance to better understand the situation on the ground in Pakistan and explore Pakistani attitudes and perspectives toward the United States. Meetings will focus on Pakistan’s system of government and democracy, its economic and development challenges, the war on terrorism and rising extremism, as well as the role of the United States and its policies in Pakistan. Additionally, they will have a chance to observe Pakistan’s media environment and discuss coverage of the United States. The program will start in the capital city of Islamabad for meetings with policymakers, political leaders, analysts, students, civil society organizations and others who can provide journalists with a deeper understanding of Pakistan. Journalists will then travel to Lahore, Pakistan's cultural capital, to explore economic and development issues, religion, and politics, and to better understand Pakistan’s history and culture. The program will also feature home visits with Pakistani families and an opportunity to engage with a wide range of Pakistani citizens.
Draft Travel Calendar for American journalists
HONOLULU PROGRAM (March 6-8, and March 21-23)
The program opens with two-days of briefings and discussions for the Pakistani and American journalists at the East-West Center in Honolulu (March 6-8. Journalists will engage in dialogue sessions on the key issues and challenges in the Pakistan-U.S. relationship. After their respective study tour programs, the journalists will return to Honolulu (March 21-23) to share their new perspectives on the relationship and one another’s countries based on their on-the-ground meetings and visits, and will discuss ways to improve media coverage of the issues and of one another’s countries.
WHO CAN APPLY:
PAKISTAN: Professional print, broadcast (radio and TV), and online journalists in Pakistan who meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Working in local language media;
- No previous travel experience in the United States;
- Minimum five years working experience;
- Ability to communicate in English in a professional, multi-cultural environment;
- Citizen of Pakistan.
AMERICAN: Professional print, broadcast (radio and TV), and online journalists with a minimum of five years experience. Preference will be given to journalists who have not previously traveled to Pakistan.
FUNDING: Round trip airfare to Honolulu and for the study tour travel, lodging, visa expenses and per diem to cover meals and incidentals are provided by the East-West Center through a grant from the U.S. Embassy Islamabad Public Affairs Section.
HOW TO APPLY:
Please submit the following:
Pakistan-U.S. Journalists Exchange Application Form, downloadable as a fillable PDF or Word file (when using the PDF, please be sure to save a copy to your computer using "save as" before typing in any content)
Resume or CV (maximum two-pages, but which includes work experience and education background);
Cover letter (maximum two-pages) outlining your interest in the program; a brief introduction to your news organization, your role in the organization and how it relates to the program; and what you expect to accomplish by participating in the program. For Pakistani journalists, please comment on your particular areas of interest for the journalism sessions in Columbia, Missouri.
For the dialogue in Honolulu, you will be asked to provide a perspective from your country on one of the following aspects of the Pakistan-US relationship. Please choose the topic of greatest interest to you and write a paragraph (maximum one page) sharing your perspective on and interest in that topic.
- Fighting terrorism and extremism in Pakistan;
- U.S. aid to Pakistan;
- Economic cooperation between the U.S. and Pakistan;
- Challenges faced by the media in the U.S. or Pakistan in reporting U.S.-Pakistan relations.
Letter of recommendation from a supervisor describing your suitability for the Exchange and the benefit your organization hopes to derive from your participation in the program. Freelance or non-traditional journalists should send a reference from a professional familiar with their work.
Names, titles and contact information of two people who may be contacted by the Center as references. They should be able to comment meaningfully on your work as a journalist.
PLEASE SEND APPLICATIONS BY FAX OR EMAIL TO:
ATTN: Pakistan-U.S. Journalists Exchange
Fax: 808 944-7600
If you do not receive confirmation of your application within 5 days, please check back.
APPLICATION PROCESS: All written applications will be reviewed by an East-West Center Selection Committee. After the first round, applicants may be contacted for a phone interview with one or several members of the Committee. Phone calls may also be made to supervisors and references. After all phone interviews have been conducted, the Selection Committee will reconvene to make its final decisions. Typically the process takes 6-8 weeks. We will inform journalists of the results by October 30, 2012.
Download: application form
For queries/ submissions: Ms. Marilu Khudari, Secretary, East-West Seminars at firstname.lastname@example.org