12:10 PM, Jun 5, 2015 • By JERYL BIER
Even as diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Russia remain decidedly chilly over the Ukrainian conflict, the State Department is reaching out to "up-and-coming" Russian journalists. A recent $150,000 grant offering from the U.S. embassy in Moscow seeks to establish a program to give Russian journalists an "intensive professional exchange experience in American newsrooms," plus "cultural experiences that allow them to learn more about the United States in general."
Although the program is tentatively named the "Russian Journalist Exchange Program," it involves only the placement of Russian journalists in American newsrooms and not vice versa. Although the State Department wishes to focus on relatively new journalists who are "showing promise" in their careers, grant recipients are reminded that "[e]very effort should be made to attract a large and diverse participant pool, including persons with disabilities, minorities, a balanced mix of male and female participants, etc." Grant recipients will carry out recruitment, but the U.S. embassy in Moscow reserves the right of final approval of all participants, as well as approval of the U.S. newsrooms where the visiting journalists will be working.
In addition to being "embedded" for a minimum a two-weeks in "reputable American newsrooms," participants are to be housed with American families to enhance their cultural experiences. While the Russians are expected to "work alongside American reporters" and interact with host families to get "a first-hand view of American family life with all its diversity," the State Department doesn't want the visitors to get too comfortable. Grant recipients are reminded they are not only responsible for arranging an American work, cultural, and family-life experience for the journalists, but also for "ensuring their return to Russia." All participating journalists must "[c]ommit to returning to Russian Federation after completion of the program."
However, the State Department has plans for a continuing relationship with the Russian journalists who participate in the program. One of the elements required of grant recipients is to "plan for post-program participant engagement that includes an outline of any proposed follow-on activities or initiatives and an articulated plan for utilizing Department of State and other alumni tools and social media outlets to provide continued support to program alumni." [emphasis added] A post-program evaluation is also desired using a now-familiar State Department metric: "The more that outcomes are “SMART” (specific, measurable, attainable, results-oriented, and placed in a reasonable timeframe, the easier it will be to conduct the evaluation."
Development of the program, recruitment of participants (both Russian journalists and American news organizations), and selection of host families is expected to take until March 2016. The actual exchange experiences are then to take place from March through August 2016.
5:01 PM, Mar 28, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
An Iranian journalist writing about the nuclear negotiations between the United States and Iran has defected. In an interview Amir Hossein Motaghi, has some harsh words for his native Iran. He also has a damning indictment of America's role in the nuclear negotiations.
For 'congressional staffers, journalists, and other influential Washingtonians.'8:41 AM, Dec 22, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Having a problem with your Comcast cable? No problem--that is if you fall into the following categories: "congressional staffers, journalists, and other influential Washingtonians." Just talk to a Comcast lobbyist.
3:51 PM, Jan 22, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
White House spokesman Jay Carney took a minute before his press briefing today to reflect. "I want to welcome you to the first full day of the President’s second term. It’s a tremendous honor and privilege to be here working for this President and for the country," the former Time magazine journalist said.
2:29 PM, Jun 15, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
A reporter heckled President Obama at today's White House immigration announcement:
8:30 AM, Jul 6, 2011 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
The New York Times has published a remarkable article on the murder of Pakistani journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad. It is not the story’s central allegation that makes the piece remarkable – it is all too believable that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate had Shahzad killed.
Everything you always wanted to know about Afghanistan . . . Aug 30, 2010, Vol. 15, No. 47 • By P.J. O'ROURKE
If you spend 72 hours in a place you’ve never been, talking to people whose language you don’t speak about social, political, and economic complexities you don’t understand, and you come back as the world’s biggest know-it-all, you’re a reporter. Either that or you’re President Obama. I called my wife. She said, no, she certainly is not vacationing at government expense in some jet-set hot spot with scads of her BFFs. Looks like I’m not President Obama. But I am a reporter, fresh from Kabul. What do you want to know about Afghanistan, past, present, or future? Ask me anything.
As all good reporters do, I prepared for my assignment with extensive research. I went to an Afghan restaurant in Prague. Getting a foretaste—as it were—of my subject, I asked the restaurant’s owner (an actual Afghan), “So what’s up with Afghanistan?”
He said, “Americans must understand that Afghanistan is a country of honor. The honor of an Afghan is in his gun, his land, and his women. You take a man’s honor if you take his gun, his land or his women.”
And the same goes for where I live in New Hampshire. I inquired whether exceptions could be made, on the third point of honor, for ex-wives.
“Oh yes,” he said.
Afghanistan—so foreign and yet so familiar and, like home, with such wonderful lamb chops. I asked the restaurateur about other similarities between New Hampshire and Afghanistan. “I don’t know,” he said. “Most of my family lives in L.A.”
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