Bureau of International Information Programs Coordinator Macon Phillips met today with the Russian participants of the U.S.-Russia Young Journalist Exchange that took place October 29 to November 20. The exchange is a key deliverable of the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission (BPC) Sub-Working Group on Mass Media. The American participants are currently in Russia and Coordinator Phillips will connect with them via video conference to get their insights on the exchange. In their June 2013 Joint Statement on Enhanced Bilateral Engagement, President Barack Obama and President Vladimir Putin reaffirmed their commitment to the BPC, a framework that was established in July 2009 to pursue collaboratively foreign policy goals of common interest to the American and Russian people.
As part of the exchange, twelve Russian journalists and twelve U.S. journalists were embedded with local mass media organizations throughout the United States and Russia, respectively. Russian participants worked at U.S. newspapers (including the Los Angeles Times, The Denver Post, Wisconsin State Journal, Florida Times-Union, The Patriot-News, The Advocate, Texas Tribune, and St. Louis Beacon); radio stations (WAMU in Washington D.C.); universities (University of Missouri School of Journalism and City University of New York); as well as public relations firms (Edelman) during the exchange. U.S. participants were placed with similar media outlets in Russia.
This is the second Young Journalist Exchange and is sponsored by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in coordination with the Moscow Union of Journalists and the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ). The BPC framework includes 21 working groups, including one on Education, Culture, Sports and Media. The mass media sub-working group has met four times since its inception, most recently, in St. Petersburg in August 2013.