ICFJ Fellow Finds Ann Arbor "Not Far from Home"

Jun 202014
  • The tenth group of Pakistani journalists with former fellow Javaria Tareen. Credit: Nolan Meyer / ICFJ

Earlier this month, the tenth group of Pakistani journalists arrived in the United States as a part of ICFJ’s U.S.-Pakistan Professional Partnership in Journalism. Since its inception in 2011, the program has brought 146 Pakistani journalists to the U.S. for three-week fellowships in newsrooms across the country.

Throughout the journalists’ time in the U.S., they not only learn how American media operate. They also get the opportunity to dispel American stereotypes about Pakistan and challenge their own perceptions about the United States.

For Radio Pakistan editor Moiz Karim, his experience at Ann Arbor’s NPR affiliate, Michigan Radio, has given him both a glimpse into American newsroom culture and a chance to experience the hospitality of the people of Michigan.

“The people at Michigan Radio, or anywhere in Ann Arbor, are very caring, loving and very respectful… I’m from the mountainous region of Pakistan, where the people by nature are simple and are famous for their hospitality, so I’m not feeling that far away from my home.”

Karim said that the concept of “public” television and radio is strange to him, and he is surprised how American media is more local in focus than news coverage in Pakistan. He observed that national and local issues “seem to have the same importance” in the United States, in contrast to Pakistani media’s focus on “big, breaking news events.”

Karim also has been pleasantly surprised by the work culture of American newsrooms: “I never saw any boss at Michigan Radio questioning employees about their work. It’s straightforward and smart in the newsroom here. Everyone has a job to do and they do it on time.”

You can read more about Karim’s experience here.