Edward R. Murrow Journalism Program

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The Edward R. Murrow Journalism Program, named for "famed broadcaster" and former director of the U.S. Information Agency Edward R. Murrow, was announced December 13, 2005, by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The "new initiative" -- which emphasizes "the democratic principles that guided Mr. Murrow's practice of his craft -- integrity and ethics and courage and social responsibility" -- is a "partnership" of the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the "non-partisan Aspen Institute, and the journalism schools" of six U.S. universities: University of Kentucky, University of Minnesota, University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill), University of Oklahoma, University of Southern California, and University of Texas (Austin). [1][2][3]

The program, which will launch in April 2006, "will invite up to 100 international media professionals to visit leading journalism schools here, 'honing their skills, sharing ideas, and gaining first-hand understanding of American society and democratic institutions', the [Aspen] Institute said. ... The goal, it said, 'is not only to inform the journalists about the United States, but also to promote journalistic freedom and excellence around the world'." [4][5]

"Announcement of the new programme was strangely juxtaposed with the furor surrounding recent disclosures that the Pentagon hired a public relations firm called the Lincoln Group to pay Iraqi journalists to publish articles written by the U.S. military that put a positive spin on developments in Iraq," the Inter Press Service News Agency's William Fisher commented.

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