Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
October 5, 2011


U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission
Press Release
October 5, 2011

U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission (BPC) Media Group Announces New Young Journalist Exchange Program

On Tuesday, October 4 in Moscow, the BPC Media Group announced a new, two-year exchange program that will offer 48 young journalists from Russia and the United States the chance to work in newsrooms and build mutual understanding. The program will be operated by the International Center for Journalists and the Moscow Union of Journalists, with additional funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Dawn McCall, Coordinator of the Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP), and Mikhail Gusman, First Deputy Director General of the Russian news agency ITAR-TASS, hosted the second meeting of the BPC Media Group and made the announcement on October 4.

Coordinator McCall and 11 media leaders from the United States, representing such institutions as the San Francisco Chronicle, the Newspaper Association of America, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the International Center for Journalists, and leading U.S. schools of journalism, traveled to Moscow to continue the discussion that began in Boston in March 2011 on the changes to the media profession in the U.S. and Russia. The Media Group held sessions on the Business of Media, the Evolving Practice and Profession of Journalism, and New Media Technologies, and met with journalism students from the Russian State Humanities University. In addition to the new young journalist exchange program, the delegates completed two other joint projects agreed upon in March -- a round table discussion on ethics in journalism and a new online platform, introduced by SocialSphere that will allow the U.S. and Russian delegates of the Media Group to communicate and work on joint projects online in English and Russian.

Acting Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Ann Stock was also in Moscow this week to lead the delegation and to conduct meetings with her Russian counterparts. She met with Ambassador Mikhail Shvydkoy, Special Representative to the President for International Cultural Cooperation. They opened the meeting at ITAR-TASS headquarters, with ITAR-TASS Director General Vitaliy Ignatenko, and delivered opening remarks on ways in which the United States and Russia might partner together to strengthen people-to-people exchanges through education, culture, media, and sports. Acting Under Secretary Stock also met with Minister for Education and Science Andrey Fursenko and discussed launching negotiations on a new umbrella education initiative between Russia and the United States.