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International journalists to share global experiences in speaker series

Humphrey Scholars
February 03, 2015

Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication this week kicks off its annual “Cronkite Global Conversations” speaker series, featuring international journalists’ firsthand accounts from some of journalism’s most dangerous frontiers.

The talks are led by participants in Cronkite School’s Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program, a U.S. State Department-funded initiative that brings 10 mid-career professionals to take classes, pursue leadership development and engage with professionals in their fields.

The series starts Feb. 4 with a discussion on the social and political realities in Eastern Europe, decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and ends March 18 with a talk on success stories from developing nations. Other topics include an examination of media coverage in Africa involving the current Ebola crisis and beyond, as well as a comparison of media practices within a democracy and a dictatorship in former Soviet republics.

“Focused, cross-cultural understanding is so vital to finding viable solutions to the challenges facing our world – economically, ecologically and politically,” said associate professor B. William Silcock, director of Cronkite Global Initiatives. “The Cronkite Humphrey Fellows help to shed light on several of the most timely topics in current headlines and offer an inside perspective that truly humanizes the issues.”

This year’s cohort of Humphrey Fellows are from Afghanistan, Armenia, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Liberia, Lithuania, Nepal, Romania, Tanzania and Uganda. During their 10 months at Cronkite, the fellows offer a global perspective as they interact with students through “Cronkite Global Conversations” and informal talks.

The one-hour “Cronkite Global Conversations” are open to the public and begin at noon on select Wednesdays in room 444 at the Cronkite School on the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus.

Spring 2014 “Cronkite Global Conversations” schedule

Feb. 4: “Understanding Post-Sovieticus: Moving Beyond the Reagan View of Eastern Europe”

Decades after the Soviet Union’s collapse, Eastern Europe still experiences an identity crisis perpetuated by Reagan-era perceptions. Evaldas Labanauskas, a reporter and editor from Lithuania, Vlad Odobescu, an investigative journalist from Romania, and Armen Sargsyan, a TV and film producer from Armenia, discuss the post-Soviet experiences from their countries.

Feb. 18: “In the Shadow of the Bear: Democracy and Dictatorship in Former Soviet Republics”

In 1991, Estonia and Kazakhstan emerged from the shadow of the Soviet Union as two distinct nations. Krista Kull, a public relations specialist from Estonia, and Sholpan Zhaksybaeva, executive director of the National Association of Broadcasters of Kazakhstan, compare how their countries’ governments impact journalism.

March 4: “Africa Rising: Examining the Media’s Coverage of Africa”

The Ebola virus has seized the attention of international journalists. Omar Mohammed, a political risk analyst for africapractice in Tanzania, and Priscilla Quiah, a journalist from Liberia, discuss the socio-economic impact of Ebola and other important untold stories from the world’s second-largest continent.

March 18: “Defying the Doomsayers: Untold Success Stories from Developing Nations”

Headlines about crisis and tragedy saturate news coverage of developing nations. Tabu Butagira, a journalist from Uganda, Lila Ojha Dhakal, an editor from Nepal, and Intizar Khadim, a former communications director from Afghanistan, explore a spectrum of stories involving survival and hope.