Entries Open for 2018 Senior Journalists Seminar

Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali, Chair & Presiden, Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute
Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali, Chair & Presiden, Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute

Entries are now open to senior print, broadcast and online journalists from the United State and countries with substantial Muslim populations for the 2018 Senior Journalists Seminar (2018SJS).

The Senior Journalists Seminar, launched in 2003, is an immersive dialogue, study, and travel programme intended to enhance media coverage and elevate the public debate regarding identity and religion’s role in and resulting impact on the public sphere, specifically as it concerns U.S. relations with Muslim majority regions.

The 2018SJS will bring together 12 to 16 international journalists for an immersive 21-day dialogue, study, and travel program to the US cities of Washington DC; Detroit and Honolulu, as well as to Yangon in Myanmar and Tunis in Tunisia.

The seminar offers an opportunity for journalists to engage their peers, experts, and the citizens of the countries visited on issues that are thematically relevant  including:  the cultural identity, treatment, and representation of religious groups, specifically Muslims; the religiosity, religious diversity, and religious freedom/rights; the political context, structures, and policy influencers that shape domestic and foreign policymaking; the  impact of religious and cultural identity on the national and political identity of citizens; and initiatives to reduce religious tensions and domestic extremism.

The 2018SJS will begin in Washington, DC with an overview of the American political system, including the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment, federalism, the separation of powers, and congressional influencers on foreign policymaking. Other foundational sessions will examine the religious make-up, diversity of religious identity, and the prayer and attendance practices of the American public.

Journalists will engage on issues ranging from politics and religion throughout the study tour, meetings with government officials and academics in all the countries visited will explore domestic and international counter-terrorism efforts and opportunities for cooperation.

The 2018SJS will be funded by the East-West Center (EWC), Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and the Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute and supports the participation of 12-16 journalists from the United States and countries with substantial Muslim populations, as defined below. Valued at approximately USD$10,685 per person.

Funding will include Round-trip airfare to and from your home country and throughout the study tour; ground transportation and airport transfers; lodging in each of the study tour destinations; provided program meals and a modest per diem to cover meals not provided; cultural activities and networking opportunities; interpretation in-country, when necessary; pro-rated speaker honorariums, cooperating organization costs and meeting rooms; Participant Resource Binder and seminar flash drive of program documents, speaker PowerPoint presentations and photos.

All participants are responsible for the Senior Journalists Seminar fee of USD$800.00, visa fees, health insurance and airline baggage charges. EWC encourages additional participant cost-sharing of programmatic costs and considers cost-sharing in the selection of applicants.

Media professionals from print, broadcast, online, and multi-media news organizations, including editors, reporters, columnists, editorial writers, producers, bloggers, videographers, and photo journalists with a minimum of ten years of experience are eligible to apply.

The Seminar is open to journalists covering relevant beats from the following countries:  Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Burma, China, India, Iran, Iraq, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestine, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Thailand, and the United States.

In addition to the list of countries above, journalists who specifically cover art and/or culture, including race and/or minority issues, from the following countries are also eligible to apply:  Algeria, Belgium, Canada, Chad, Cyprus, England, Egypt, France, Germany, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Mali, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia, Turkey, UAE, and Yemen.

The EWC requires journalists to file at least one story or a series of blogs and/or tweets resulting from their participation in the seminar. Journalists must offer specific story ideas and how they would fulfill this requirement in their application.

Interested applicants should fill out the Senior Journalists application form and also provide all of the following:

  • Letter of Interest (maximum two pages, double-spaced) including: A brief description of your news organization, its reach, and your role; interest in seminar theme and its relevancy to the beat you cover; what you expect both to contribute and to gain from participating in the seminar; possible story ideas and how the story requirement will be met in terms of dissemination.
  • Resume (maximum two pages)
  • Two professional letters of recommendation, including one from your immediate supervisor describing your suitability for the program and how the news organization hopes to benefit from your participation. Recommendation letters should be signed and on letterhead.

Extra pages submitted over the maximum limits, will NOT be copied for and read by the Selection Committee. Late applications will also not be considered.

For inquiries about the application process, please call Sara Lam at: 808-944-7727

NOTE: Please indicate “Senior Journalists Application” in the subject heading of your e-mail or fax. Receipt of the application will be confirmed within 5 working days. If you do not hear back, please follow up.

Completed applications are to be submitted by Wednesday, April 18, 2018, via Email: sjs@eastwestcenter.org  or Fax: 808-944-7600.