The Edward R. Murrow program is an exchange program administered by the U.S. Department of State. The “Fellows” are international journalists selected by the U.S. Department of State for a three-week exchange here in the United States. This year’s participants hailed from Central and South East Asia—from places like Nepal, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Kyrgyzstan, and more. The point is to expose these international journalists to the important role of independent media in fostering and protecting freedom of expression and democracy.
But the State Department can’t do this alone. So the department partners with leading schools of journalism and international relations to host the participants.
Enter: the Newhouse and Maxwell Schools.
Last week, Maxwell and Newhouse hosted the Edward R. Murrow Fellows here in Syracuse. As a Public Diplomacy (MAIR/MS PR) student and journalism nerd, this was a dream come true. Public Diplomacy professionals, at our core, are relationship builders. PD is a field based on two-way communication with the goal of promoting understanding and positive sentiment for the future. Hosting the Fellows in Syracuse was PD in action.
The only reason I was able to get involved with the Fellows is because of the opportunities afforded to me by the Maxwell and Newhouse schools. Maxwell houses the National Security Studies program, the Syracuse office with which the Fellows have the most interaction and where I am an intern. As an intern, I was able to assist in the execution of this program while still putting my studies first.
Maxwell and Newhouse made sure that all PD students—interns or not—were involved in the visit, inviting us to dinners and workshops. We PD students were able to see first hand the direct impact our exchanges have on foreign publics and on the United States. Not only have these exchanges affected our world-views, but they have also allowed us to forge lasting relationships with foreign professionals that will undoubtedly extend into the future.
As cool and unique as this opportunity was, things like this are a common occurrence for a graduate student here at Syracuse.