McHale encourages Murrow participants to "ask questions, confront problems"

Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Judith McHale welcomed yesterday 150 journalists from around the world participating in the Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists. As McHale described it, “the Department of State started the Murrow exchange program five years ago because we believe that a free press and the practice of journalism are critical elements for any successful society.”

The journalists participating in the program are identified by U.S. embassies and consulates as accomplished journalists “doing important work” and playing leadership roles in their home countries. As McHale further told the Murrow participants:

We hope this program will strengthen your capabilities, through a range of activities involving American professional counterparts and ten of our leading academic journalism programs. Use these opportunities to ask questions, compare experiences, and confront problems with them, and with each other. This is an exchange not just between the United States and you, but between you and every single country represented here today.

Beyond your profession, I hope that you use the Murrow Program as a chance to improve your understanding of the United States – our nation, our society, and our culture. Your program will take you out of Washington, to see the breadth of America’s diversity as you visit our cities and towns. You will even visit parts of this country that many Americans have not seen. Please don’t be shy – ask all the questions you can think of, to get honest opinions from a wide range of individual Americans.