U.S.-Russia Presidential Commission Spotlights Young Journalists’ Exchange

Feb 82013
  • Aaron Sharockman of the Tampa Bay Times and Ryan Maye Handy of the The Colorado Springs Gazette attended Russian President Valdmir Putin’s annual press conference on December 20, 2012. Photo courtesy of M. Scott Brauer.

The Russia-U.S. Young Media Professionals Exchange Program was a key initiative that came about after talks between our two countries’ presidents in 2010 to improve our relationship. Russian and U.S. journalists met several times to discuss the best possible program and came up with this exciting exchange. It is designed to help young reporters, at this formative stage in their careers, gain a real grasp of what is taking place on the ground.

The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) and its partner, the Moscow Union of Journalists, teamed up as partners for this effort. The first of two exchanges for 12 Russian and 12 U.S. journalists was successfully completed in December. ICFJ participated with generous support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

The participating journalists, working at media organizations in each other’s countries, delved beyond stereotypes, enjoyed professional interactions and generated good will and memories to last a lifetime. They created a vibrant Facebook page and produced many terrific stories and photos.

The U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission, which President Obama and then-President Dmitry Medvedev created during their historic meeting, headlined its latest newsletter with a story about the journalists’ exchange. Below is a link to the newsletter—as well to many of the pieces written by these young reporters.