The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) conducted a program for Georgian journalists named the Media Educational Exchange Program, funded by the U.S. Embassy in Georgia through the Public Affairs Section, and implemented by ICFJ.
The program aimed to support Georgian journalists by improving their expertise and familiarizing themselves with the rights and responsibilities of a free media through professional study-reporting tours and internships at U.S. media outlets. Participants explored media operational and business practices, modern media trends, journalistic standards, media institutions, and media advocacy in the U.S.
The program had three options:
Journalists applied for 14 spots in a two-week study tour in Washington, D.C. and New York. Translators will be provided so that non-English speakers may participate.
Non-English speakers could also apply to add one of two, two-week internships at a U.S. host news outlet that will follow the study tour. An interpreter will travel with the two to that news outlet.
English speakers could apply for one of three, three-week internships at a U.S. news outlet. These three participated in the first three days of the study tour and then left for their individual internships. Following their stays, all journalists had a debriefing session, giving them the chance to discuss their experiences and complete work on action plans for their return to their Georgian news organizations.
Journalists enhanced their overall professional skills and gained a better understanding of the media sector in the United States, and are expected to play a role in the further development of independent media in a democracy upon their return to Georgia.
- All program related costs were covered by the program (travel, housing, per diem, visa and health insurance costs).
- Interpretation was provided for non-English-speakers.
- All selected participants applied personally for a U.S. visa. Host organization was not responsible in the event the U.S. Consulate denies a visa to the applicant.