|Nuruddeen M. Abdallah, Daily Trust|
The programme, entitled “Investigative Journalism & New Electronic Media” is commenced on August 27 and will end on September 15, 2012. Sixteen participants were selected from 15 African countries.
The invitation, signed by Bill Strassberger, Cultural Affairs Officer in the U.S. Embassy in Abuja, said the programme is a special initiative for young, up-and-coming media professionals that will examine the rights and responsibilities of a free press in a democracy.
Each year, leading journalists are nominated for participation by the American embassies in their home countries. The programme is sponsored by the US Embassy in Nigeria and organised by the US Department of State in Washington DC.
“This programme will address the practice of U.S. investigative journalism, ongoing debates about ethics, accuracy, and journalistic integrity, and regulations governing access to government information,” the invitation said.
The participants will discuss the status of media as the fourth estate of the realm that checks and counterbalances the powers of the executive, legislative and judicial branches and will also explore the use of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Sunshine Laws as tools to get information.
Participants will meet and exchange information with U.S. journalists, media specialists, academics and others to review examples of effective investigative reporting that resulted in greater accountability and transparency in government.
The project will also examine the influence of social media and digital technologies on how citizens use and share information. In addition, it will address media’s role in promoting an informed citizenry within a democracy as well as related issues of journalistic freedom, ethics, responsibility, and standards.
Working in conjunction with leading US journalism schools, the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs developed the specialised IVLP to engage young international media professionals in dialogue with their US counterparts.
The participants will undergo intensive training, interact with veteran journalists and visit prominent media organisations and journalism schools in Washington DC, New York, New York; Phoenix, Arizona; Dallas, Texas and St. Louis, Missouri, among others.
A secondary theme of the training will focus on the cultural, social, and political diversity of life in the United States, with home hospitality, sightseeing, and personal time balancing the professional program.
In 2011, 5,291 international visitors participated in 811 projects through IVLP in the United States. American officials overseas select the visitors, who are current or potential leaders in government, education, politics, the media and other fields.
Also, 53 current and 275 former Heads of State are IVLP alumni. - Written by - Sunday, 02 September 2012 05:00