Writers welcomed

by Christy Perry

November 16, 2010

Journalists from North Africa region visit Newhouse, Maxwell

Eight print journalists from seven countries visited Syracuse University in late October/early November. This is the fifth year the Newhouse School and the Maxwell School have hosted a group of emerging international journalism leaders.

The journalists and their three Arabic-speaking interpreters came to New York through the U.S. State Department's Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists. Their visit coincided with the U.S. midterm elections and they observed firsthand democracy in action and how a free press covers that process. 

"Our goal was to promote a greater appreciation of U.S. society and a stronger understanding of our culture, our values and our policies," said Professor Bill Smullen, who is the Maxwell Senior Fellow in National Security and a Newhouse adjunct public relations professor. 

This year's Murrow participants were Algerian journalist Rachid Basta; Egyptian journalist Hend Mohamed Hosny Ibrahim Selim; Jordanian reporter Ashraf Fatehi Alrai; Kuwaiti columnist Meshari N.A.R. Aladwani; Libyan journalist Fatma Abdalla Ghandur; United Arab Emirates newspaper editor Alia Ahmed Saif Al Theeb Alhumairi; and from Yemen, newspaper manager Yasin Mohamed Al-Masaoudi and Editor Mohammed Mohammed Al Maqaleh.

"My hope is that these journalists will return to their native lands with a more positive view of America and Americans and in turn share their experiences while here with their fellow countrymen," Smullen said.

During their week-long visit, the Murrow journalists attended an editorial meeting at Syracuse's Post-Standard and observed Central New Yorkers voting at various polling places around the city. They also toured WSYR-TV and sat in on classes at Maxwell and Newhouse.

According to the U.S. State Department's website, leading journalists are nominated each year for participation in the Murrow Program by the U.S. Embassies in their home countries. The program represents an innovative public-private partnership between the U.S. Department of State, the Aspen Institute and leading U.S. schools of journalism.