WASHINGTON, D.C. /Publishers Newswire/ — This week, nearly 150 journalists from around the world convened in Washington, D.C. to begin the fifth annual Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists. The Murrow program is an innovative public-private partnership between the U.S. Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program, The Aspen Institute, and leading U.S. journalism schools. The program, which lasts for three weeks, brings emerging journalism leaders to the United States to examine their field and meet their U.S. counterparts.

The journalists represent independent media in Africa, Europe, the Near East and North Africa, East Asia, South and Central Asia, and the Western Hemisphere. They are participating in nine projects to examine free press in a democracy; learn about U.S. media; gain insight into the social, economic and political structures of the United States; and, engage in professional development seminars and an international symposium.

While in Washington, D.C. through October 28th, the journalists will visit the U.S. State Department for the Aspen Institute Symposium on Current Issues in Journalism, featuring an address by Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Ambassador William J. Burns; a conversation with Bob Woodward, Associate Editor at The Washington Post; and, expert panels from leaders in journalism and new media, including Arianna Huffington. Participants will also attend lectures on the upcoming mid-term elections, briefings on Capitol Hill and meetings with foreign policy analysts at universities and think tanks.

Beginning October 29th, journalist delegations will travel to ten journalism schools for intensive professional seminars on journalistic principles in a democratic society and opportunities to participate in Election Day activities. The partner universities are:

Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Arizona State University
Gaylord College of Journalism & Mass Communication, University of Oklahoma
School of Journalism & Mass Communication, University of Minnesota
School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications & Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University
Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland
Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Georgia
Department of Journalism and Media Studies, University of South Florida St. Petersburg
Reynolds School of Journalism, University of Nevada, Reno
College of Communication & Information, University of Tennessee.

On November 3rd, Murrow journalists visit U.S. communities to examine grassroots civic and political life in the United States.

On November 9th, the delegations reunite in New York City for the program’s conclusion with meetings at major media outlets and a visit to the United States Mission to the United Nations.