The United States Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs allowed me, a professional journalist from Panama, to participate in the International Visitor Leadership Program in the Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists. This experience provided me the opportunity to acquire the necessary knowledge to project journalism as a force of union between nations.
Visiting 4 states of this wonderful country allowed us to meet its people, live some of its traditions and see how diverse cultures converge regardless of race, religion or color.
It is notable that the main objective of the program is to broaden the participants’ knowledge as social communicators and to become pioneers of promoting a truly free press. The press is responsible for reporting according to the people, keeping them fully informed and capable of ensuring that institutions and governments take full responsibility for maintaining the truth.
We observed the operational practices, norms and institutions of the media in the United States. We also learned the social, economic and political structures of the country. We participated in professional development seminars and an international symposium highlighting current trends and challenges in the media profession, information on foreign policy and coverage of political issues.
An added value of the program that exceeded our expectations was networking with colleagues from other regions, where we shared our different experiences. We are proud of the significant progress in the participation and the role of women in journalism in all continents. We shared multiple stories among each other of the common interest of building a better world with gender equality and equity.
I hope to be a multiplier agent of the knowledge acquired during this program and to cultivate the friendships that arose from it. Those were the most valuable treasures I received from this enriching and unique experience.
And as Edward R. Murrow said: “Good night, and good luck.”