Exchange Programs

The U.S. Mission to Sri Lanka & Maldives regularly conducts academic, educational, citizen, arts, and professional exchange programs.

Launched in 2003, the Senior Journalists Seminar is an immersive dialogue, study, and travel program intended to enhance media coverage and elevate the public debate regarding identity and religion’s role in and resulting impact on the public sphere, specifically as it concerns U.S. relations with Muslim majority regions. Designed for senior print, radio, broadcast, online, multi-media, and photo journalists from the U.S. and countries with substantial Muslim populations, the 2019 Senior Journalists Seminar will bring together 10-14 multinational journalists for an immersive three week dialogue, study, and travel program to Washington, DC; Chicago, Illinois; Dhaka/Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh; and Istanbul, Turkey. The 2019 SJS will begin in Washington, DC with an overview of the American political system, including the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment, federalism, the separation of powers, and congressional influencers on foreign policymaking. Other foundational sessions will examine the religious make-up, diversity of religious identity, and the prayer and attendance practices of the American public. The Washington, DC study tour will also feature participant presentations summarizing religion’s role in their home countries. In Chicago, journalists will experientially explore America’s multicultural and multi-religious society, the experiences of minority religious communities, initiatives bridging faith divides, and how cultural and religious identity, experience, and diversity is expressed in the literary, visual, performing, and media arts. Throughout the U.S. study tour, journalists will consider the political, military, and cultural engagement of the U.S. with Muslim majority regions. Travel to Dhaka/Bangladesh and Istanbul, Turkey will contextualize and compare religion’s role in the public sphere across democratic nations; provide first-hand exposure to and more nuanced understanding of the diversity of Muslim societies; and build the professional networks of participating journalists. A day trip to Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh will also enable journalists to visit the world’s largest refugee settlement. Meetings with government officials and academics in all three countries will explore domestic and international counter-terrorism efforts and opportunities for cooperation. Interactive experiences will also be included to deepen journalists’ understanding of Muslim cultures through the arts, culture, and new media. Finally, the media’s role in choosing, framing, and disseminating stories with a religious element and its effective shaping of public perception and U.S. relations with Muslim majority regions will be explored.

The EWC requires journalists to file at least one story or a series of blogs and/or tweets resulting from their participation in the seminar. Journalists must offer specific story ideas and how you will fulfill this requirement in your application. 

Who Can Apply:

Media professionals from print, broadcast, online, and multi-media news organizations, including editors, reporters, columnists, editorial writers, producers, bloggers, videographers, and photo journalists with a minimum of ten years of experience are eligible to apply. The Senior Journalists Seminars will include a total of 10-14 journalists from the United States and countries with substantial Muslim populations. Journalists who cover foreign and diplomatic relations, security, military affairs, domestic politics and government, religion, human rights issues, culture, and the arts are eligible. Fluency in English is required.

Journalists covering all relevant beats from the following countries are eligible to apply:  Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Burma, China, India, Iran, Iraq, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestine, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Thailand, and the United States. In addition to the list of countries above, journalists who specifically cover art and/or culture, including race and/or minority issues, from the following countries are also eligible to apply:  Algeria, Belgium, Canada, Chad, Cyprus, England, Egypt, France, Germany, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Mali, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia, Turkey, UAE, and Yemen.

Funding:

The 2019 Senior Journalists Seminar is funded by the East-West Center, Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and the Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute and supports the participation of 10-14 journalists from the United States and countries with substantial Muslim populations, as defined above. A full scholarship for the 2019 Senior Journalists Seminar is valued at USD$10,465/pp and covers international airfare, lodging, ground transportation, meals, and other programmatic costs. Journalists are responsible for a $800 program fee as well as their own visa fees, health insurance and baggage charges. EWC encourages additional cost-sharing of programmatic costs and considers cost-sharing in the selection of applicants.

For application instructions please visit our website at www.eastwestcenter.org/senior-journalists

For inquiries about the application process, please call: 808-944-7727.

Questions about the Senior Journalists Seminar should be directed to: Liz A. Dorn, Program Coordinator, dorne@eastwestcenter.org; 808-944-7368.

Application Deadline: Thursday, May 23, 2019.