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Partnership for Intl. Journalism Program - Rice

Launch of Partnership for International Journalism Program


Secretary Condoleezza Rice
The Benjamin Franklin Room
Washington, DC
December 13, 2005

(11:15 a.m. EST)


Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you. Before I welcome our visitors and talk a little bit about this remarkable program, I'd like to make a brief statement concerning events in Lebanon.

Yesterday, the Lebanese journalist, Gebran Tueni, a brave voice for press freedom and for Lebanon's liberation from foreign domination, was murdered in a cowardly fashion in Beirut. Today, I want to express my condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Tueni and express America's continued support for the democratic aspirations of the Lebanese people. We know that An-Nahar newspaper as well as the brave citizens of Lebanon will continue this struggle. We know that they know that the United States stands clearly and forcefully with the Lebanese people and that the international community must do so as well.

Today, I'm pleased to announce the launch of an innovative State Department exchange program for international journalists. I'm particularly honored to be a part of this launch. And as Dina just revealed, I was indeed an intern in Educational and Cultural Affairs in 1977 when many of the people that we all teach were not even alive. (Laughter.)

In April 2006, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the Aspen Institute and six leading American universities will begin working together to promote journalistic excellence around the world. Our Edward R. Murrow Journalism Fellows Program will invite 100 international media professionals to engage with journalists and participate in leading journalism schools here in the United States.

Named after the renowned journalist and former director of the United States Information Agency, Edward R. Murrow, this program emphasizes many of the democratic principles that guided Mr. Murrow's practice of his craft: integrity and ethics and courage and social responsibility. We all know that the bedrock pillar of a free society is a free press and that it is crucial for the foundation of any democracy.

Our new journalism program is an innovative public-private partnership, led by the State Department's International Visitor Leadership Program and supported by seven important partners and they are all represented here today, and I want to thank them very much.

I especially want to thank and recognize Walter Isaacson of the Aspen Institute and also Geoff Cowan of USC for your tremendous leadership. I'm tempted at this point to note that here on the stage we have the BCS match-up -- (laughter) -- the University of Texas and USC -- but I think I'll pass on that for now and move back to the program.

The universities that are gathered here are going to conduct academic seminars on journalistic principles to be enhanced by opportunities for the international journalists to observe the U.S. press in action. The Aspen Institute will organize an international symposium for journalists, highlighting curriculum and trends that challenge journalists here in this contemporary circumstance and that are facing media here in America and in the world.

I want to sincerely thank these leaders for their valuable and generous contributions to this undertaking. We all recognize that public diplomacy is not just the job of government. It is, indeed, the job of every American. And the Department of State is determined to forge partnerships with our private sector so that Americans of all stripes, all traditions, all ethnic groups and also all walks of life might be able to help to carry the story of democratic progress and the progress of liberty. We look forward to this excellent program in April, but we especially look forward to working with our partners.

Thank you very much.

(Applause.)

2005/1163

Released on December 13, 2005

ENDS


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