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Los Angeles Seeks Sister-City Journalists

Auckland City Council on behalf of:
The Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau
Media release

Los Angeles Seeks Sister-City Journalists for Fellowship Program

LOS ANGELES - LA INC. The Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau and Los Angeles World Airports are seeking applications from qualified arts and/or travel journalists from countries in which Los Angeles has a Sister City for a weeklong, all-expense-paid professional fellowship program to learn first-hand about the city‟s culture and communities.

Los Angeles‟ Sister Cities are: Athens, Greece; Auckland, New Zealand; Beirut, Lebanon; Berlin, Germany; Bordeaux, France; Busan, Korea; Eilat, Israel; Giza, Egypt; Guangzhou (formerly Canton), People‟s Republic of China; Ischia, Italy; Jakarta, Indonesia; Kaunas, Lithuania; Lusaka, Zambia; Makati, The Philippines; Mexico City, Mexico; Mumbai (formerly Bombay), India; Nagoya, Japan; Salvador de Bahia, Brazil; San Salvador, El Salvador; Split, Croatia; St. Petersburg, Russia; Taipei, Taiwan; Vancouver, Canada; and Yerevan, Armenia.

Through a competitive selection process, up to five journalists from media outlets serving LA‟s Sister Cities will be chosen to participate in the program, which will be held in Los Angeles from January 24-31, 2009. The fellowship program pays for all lodging, meals and events for participants. Airfare and travel expenses to and from Los Angeles for each fellow will be covered up to a maximum of US$1,500. Applicants must be currently employed as professional journalists or must be experienced freelance journalists on assignment by a media outlet. Journalists chosen to participate in the program agree to share the knowledge they gain with their readers, viewers or listeners. Preference will be given to journalists in countries that are a significant source or have the potential to be a significant source of visitors to Los Angeles. Journalists do not need to live or work in one of L.A.’s Sister Cities as long as their publication or broadcast is easily available in a Sister City.

The fellowships will consist of discussions on Los Angeles history and current affairs; tours of landmarks and neighborhoods; performances and exhibitions; and dialogues with experts on various aspects of the city. The program is intentionally small to allow for meaningful conversations and interactions among the Fellows and Los Angeles residents.

The first annual Los Angeles-Sister Cities Journalist Fellowship took place in 2006. Since then, the program has hosted nearly 20 print and electronic journalists from Brazil, Canada, Germany, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, the People‟s Republic of China, the Philippines, South Korea and Taiwan.

About the Fellowship, 2006 Fellow Alex Vergara said, “What I found brave and refreshing, is how the Fellowship helped us to see the real L.A. This Fellowship offered a balanced picture—not a sugarcoated one. We also were able to gain access to places and people not normally within the reach of visitors. Therein lay one of the Fellowship‟s strengths. The Fellowship covered almost every imaginable aspect about LA. I highly recommend it.”

Rainer Haubrich, a 2007 Fellow, said “This was an eye-opener! The choice of speakers and events was excellent. It should be regarded as a privilege by all participants to get a city like LA on a „silver plate.‟ It sparked an interest that will last for the rest of my professional career.”

Sponsors of the Los Angeles-Sister Cities Journalist Fellowship have included Air New Zealand; American Airlines, American Film Institute; Autry National Center; Beverly Hilton Hotel; California Institute of the Arts (CalArts); City of Los Angeles; Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles; Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in Los Angeles; Continental Airlines, El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical National Monument; J. Paul Getty Trust; Hammer Museum; Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens; Le Petite Retreat Day Spa; The Lobster Restaurant; Los Angeles Conservancy; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Los Angeles Philharmonic Association; Los Angeles World Airports; Loyola Marymount University; Music Center, Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County; Morphosis Architects; New Zealand Consulate General, Los Angeles; Northwest Airlines; Patina Group; Philippine Consulate in Los Angeles; Port of Los Angeles; Santa Monica Museum of Art; Shopper Shuttle LLC; Skirball Cultural Center; Walt Disney Company; Wilshire Grand Hotel, The Official Hotel of the Los Angeles Sister Cities Visiting Journalist Fellowship; Universal Studios Hollywood; United Airlines, and the University of Southern California.

Applications for the 2009 fellowships must be received by LA INC. by 5 p.m. PST on Friday, November 21, 2008. The 2009 Fellows will be announced on December 5, 2008.

The Sister Cities Program was created in 1956 by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower to strengthen partnerships between U.S. and international cities, with the hope that personal relationships fostered through Sister City affiliations would increase trade, cultural exchange and mutual understanding, thereby lessening the chance of future world conflicts. Los Angeles began its Sister Cities program in 1959 with Nagoya, Japan, and now includes 23 Sister Cities on six continents.

For more information on the Los Angeles-Sister Cities Journalist Fellowship and to obtain applications and/or previous Fellowship curriculum, contact: Michael McDowell, Senior Director for Cultural Tourism, LA INC. The Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau, 333 S. Hope St., 18th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90071 or email to: mmcdowell@lainc.us.

For more information on Los Angeles, please visit DiscoverLosAngeles.com


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