The East-West Center is now accepting applications for the 2018 Senior Journalists Seminar (2018SJS), which will bring together 12-16 international journalists for an immersive 21-day dialogue, study, and travel program to Washington, DC; Detroit, MI; Honolulu, HI; Yangon, Myanmar; and Tunis, Tunisia. The 2018SJS will begin in Washington, DC with an overview of the American political system, including the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment, federalism, the separation of powers, and congressional influencers on foreign policymaking. Other foundational sessions will examine the religious make-up, diversity of religious identity, and the prayer and attendance practices of the American public. In Detroit, journalists will experientially explore America’s multicultural and multi-religious society, the experiences of minority religious communities, initiatives bridging faith divides, and how cultural and religious identity, experience, and diversity is expressed in the literary, visual, performing, and media arts. The Honolulu study tour will feature participant presentations summarizing religion’s role in their home countries. Throughout the U.S. study tour, journalists will consider the political, military, and cultural engagement of the U.S. with Muslim majority regions. Travel to Yangon, Myanmar and Tunis, Tunisia will contextualize and compare religion’s role in the public sphere across democratic nations; provide first-hand exposure to and more nuanced understanding of the diversity of Muslim societies; and build the professional networks of participating journalists. Meetings with government officials and academics in all three countries will explore domestic and international counter-terrorism efforts and opportunities for cooperation. Interactive experiences will also be included to deepen journalists’ understanding of Muslim cultures through the arts, culture, and new media. Finally, the media’s role in choosing, framing, and disseminating stories with a religious element and its effective shaping of public perception and U.S. relations with Muslim majority regions will be explored.
Media professionals from print, broadcast, online, and multi-media news organizations, including editors, reporters, columnists, editorial writers, producers, bloggers, videographers, and photo journalists with a minimum of ten years of experience are eligible to apply.