Ten multinational Journalists have commenced a seven-day virtual seminar organized by the US East-West Center to enhance media coverage and elevate the public debate regarding identity and religion’s role in and resulting impact on the public sphere.
Tagged the 2021-22 Senior Journalists Seminar, SJS, participants are drawn from Nigeria, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Pakistan, the USA, Thailand, Australia, China, Singapore and India.
At the opening, the SJS Coordinator, Ms Liz A. Dorn explained that the Seminar which is taking place across three virtual destinations: Washington DC, Minneapolis. Minnesota and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, was also aimed at deepening participants knowledge of the American political system and foreign policies as it relates to the Asia Pacific and MENA regions.
“In addition, journalists will explore the experiences of minority religious communities, the rise of hate politics, and initiatives bridging faith divides in the United States. Journalists will also virtually engage with American citizens of varying socioeconomic, racial, and religious backgrounds living in DC and Minneapolis. Virtual meetings in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia will, similarly, 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.” She said
Radio Nigeria’s Correspondent, Omolara Omosanya who is one of the participants reports that the hybridized Seminar which will be concluded in 2022 is supported by the various US missions in the selected countries, including the US Consulate, Lagos.
Established by the US Congress in 1960, the East-West Center serves as a resource for information and analysis on critical issues of common concern, bringing people together to exchange views, build expertise, and develop policy options. The Center is an independent, public, nonprofit organization with funding from the US government, and additional support provided by private agencies, individuals, foundations, corporations, and governments in the region.