Albert Futukpor, GNA Special Correspondent in Washington
Washington D.C, April 12, GNA – The International Centre for Journalists (ICFJ), based in Washington D.C. on Thursday posted 10 African journalists to various media houses in the US, as part of an exchange programme to promote quality journalism.
The programme dubbed: ‘Exchange Programme for Media Professionals from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, and the United States,’ is a four-part, two-way media programme run by ICFJ and funded by the US Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
It is an 18-month multi-phase programme for 20 African media professionals and 20 of their US peers.
Five journalists were competitively recruited from each of the four African countries and divided into two groups to participate in the programme in the spring and fall of 2013.
They will spend approximately four weeks at American media organisations for practical fellowships and related programming.
The 10 African journalists who have been posted formed part of the first group of African journalists to participate in the programme.
They were drawn from media houses such as Ghana News Agency, New Vision in Uganda, Standard Group in Kenya and Daily Trust in Nigeria and have been posted to media houses including Gainesville Sun in Florida amongst a host of others in Pittsburgh, Las Vegas, Colorado, Boston and Texas.
They were taking through a three-day orientation, which ended in Washington D.C. on Wednesday to learn about the trends in journalism practice in the US, legal requirements, the impact of social media amongst other topics.
They also visited offices of the World Bank and the US Department of State where they held discussions with the officials.
After each visiting group of African journalists, a group of 10 US journalists would travel to their various countries to appreciate everyday life in Africa.
The goal of the programme is to provide an opportunity for journalists to become involved in journalism practise in other countries.
Mr Patrick Butler, Vice President of Programmes at ICFJ told the African journalists that even though the US media is miles ahead in terms of technology in news gathering, the model of journalism practice in the country should not be a model.
Ms Johanna Carrillo, Senior Programmes Officer of ICFJ said the programme would enable the African journalists and their US counterparts to share professional knowledge and cultural experiences.
She said this would help correct some of the impressions held about the US. GNA