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New Russia- U.S. journalist exchange program to help break stereotypes

October 06, 2011, 1:32 UTC+3

The two countries signed the relevant agreement on Tuesday, October 4

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NEW YORK, October 6 (Itar-Tass) —— A new, two-year exchange program for young Russian and American journalists will help break stereotypes that have developed over years, according to a press release of the Knight Foundation.

The two countries signed the relevant agreement on Tuesday, October 4, at an international media conference hosted by Itar-Tass.

The programme will offer 48 young journalists from Russia and the U.S. the chance to work in newsrooms and build mutual understanding, thanks to a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced in Moscow.

“This exchange will help establish professional relationships between the young journalists from two nations, both important in the world, yet once dire enemies,” said Eric Newton, senior adviser to the president of Knight Foundation, which is funding the program through a 250,000 U.S. dollar grant to the International Centre for Journalists.

The Young Media Professionals Exchange Program is an outgrowth of the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission’s working group on media.

“Knight Foundation brings a wealth of expertise and knowledge in the best of American media practices and values to the Young Media Professionals Exchange Program,” said Dawn L. McCall, Coordinator, U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Information Programs. “The exchange provides opportunities for U.S. and Russian journalists to share experiences and strengthen their journalistic practices, which benefits both our countries.”

At the beginning of the exchange, Russian journalists will spend several days meeting officials and media leaders in Washington, while their U.S. counterparts do the same in Moscow. They will then work at media organisations for as long as one month.

The International Centre for Journalists will coordinate the selection of suitable U.S. news organisations for the Russian journalists, and the Moscow Union of Journalists will find hosts for the Americans. The Moscow Union of Journalists will plan the program and cover the costs for participants in Russia.

The first 24 participants will be selected in February 2012. The first exchange will take place in April 2012. Applicants must be under 30 years of age, with at least three years of experience. Strong preference will be given to candidates who speak English and Russian.

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged, the press release said.

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