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Cronkite School to Host Edward R. Murrow Fellows

October 24, 2010

The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University is hosting a group of international journalists as part of the U.S. State Department’s prestigious Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists.

The Murrow program, named in honor of the renowned CBS News journalist, began in 2006 to enable international journalists to study journalism and civic processes in the United States.

This year the program is bringing 150 journalists from 100 countries to the U.S. for a month-long program that starts in Washington and ends in New York. Arizona State is one of 10 partner universities hosting the fellows as they disperse across America to gain an understanding of U.S. politics, government and news media.

Cronkite will host 13 of the fellows, who have been nominated by the U.S. embassies in their countries of residency. It is the first time the Cronkite School has hosted Murrow Fellows.

Associate Professor William Silcock, a two-time Fulbright Scholar and director of newly established Cronkite Global Initiatives, will lead the Murrow program.

Silcock said having the program at Cronkite was fitting since both Murrow and Cronkite were known for their international reporting, particularly in covering World War II.

While in Arizona, fellows will observe firsthand how local and national news media cover elections and border issues, perhaps most notably, the state’s highly publicized immigration law SB1070.

“It’s doubly exciting that this is all coming together during a pivotal election for this state,” Silcock said. “It will benefit our students, our faculty and even the citizens of Arizona because they’ll be able to see the American political process through the eyes of our fellows overseas.”

The Murrow Fellows will be at Cronkite Oct. 28 through Nov. 3.

They will engage with top Cronkite professors, including Leonard Downie Jr., the former executive editor of The Washington Post who is the school’s Weil Family Professor; Aaron Brown, former CNN anchor and Walter Cronkite Professor of Journalism; and Joseph Russomanno, Ph.D., the school’s First Amendment law expert.

Other universities hosting Murrow Fellows include Syracuse University; the University of Georgia; University of Maryland; University of Minnesota; University of Nevada, Reno; the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; the University of Oklahoma; University of South Florida, St. Petersburg; and the University of Tennessee.

Cronkite Dean Christopher Callahan said the Murrow program is the school’s latest significant international initiative. Within the past few months, the school has launched Cronkite Global Initiatives and the Humbert H. Humphrey Fellowship program, a five-year, $1 million State Department program that brings international journalists to the school for 10 months.

“Under Bill Silcock’s leadership, the Cronkite School has quickly become a leader in global media initiatives,” Callahan said. “The Murrow Fellows are an important part of our international programs. We’re really looking forward to hosting the Murrows, and learning as much from them as they hopefully will from us.”

The 13 Murrow Fellows at Cronkite come from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Kazakhstan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Tajikistan.