Ambassador Olson praises Pakistani Journalists' role in Democracy

Ambassador Olson praises Pakistani Journalists’ role in Democracy


Islamabad, February 01, 2013 (PPI-OT): U.S. Ambassador Richard Olson joined State Minister for Information Syed Sumsam Ali Shah Bukhari in congratulating Pakistani journalists on the important work they do to advance Pakistan’s democracy. More than 70 journalists from various TV, radio, and print outlets across Pakistan gathered in Islamabad for a three-day media summit. The journalists are alumni of a U.S. government-funded exchange program known as the “U.S.-Pakistan Professional Partnership in Journalism.”

“The U.S. government strongly supports a vibrant and independent media in Pakistan,” said Ambassador Olson in his remarks at the opening ceremony of the media summit. “A free press is the cornerstone of any democracy. It provides the information and facts needed for the people to hold their government accountable.”

The U.S.-Pakistan Professional Partnership in Journalism was established in 2011. It is administered by the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ). After two weeks of orientation in Washington, DC, Pakistani journalists spend three to four weeks working as staff reporters at news outlets across the United States.

The program also brings U.S. journalists to Pakistan for a two-week orientation on Pakistani politics, society, and the economy through site visits, interviews, and interactions with journalists, officials, and ordinary Pakistanis. Currently, a group of seven U.S. journalists from print, television, radio, and online media is in Pakistan from January 20 to February 3.

The three-day alumni media summit in Islamabad includes panel discussions with media professionals, breakout sessions on topics such as conflict-sensitive reporting and social media, and a “train-the-trainer” workshop for highly-motivated alumni who will share what they learn with other journalists in their communities.

The U.S. government invests nearly $30 million annually in exchange programs with Pakistanis. More than 1,000 Pakistanis participate in various high school, undergraduate, graduate, and professional U.S.-sponsored exchange programs each year.

Journalists interested in applying for the U.S.-Pakistan Professional Partnership in Journalism should visit the U.S. Education Foundation of Pakistan (USEFP) website for more information:

For more information, contact:
Public Affairs Section
Embassy of the United States of America
Diplomatic Enclave, Ramna 5
Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: +9251-208 0000
Fax: +9251-227 8607



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