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Release: April 28, 2000

Eight South Asian journalists to visit UI, Iowa City April 30-May 4

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Eight journalists from India and Pakistan will spend five days in Iowa City visiting the University of Iowa School of Journalism & Mass Communication and local newspapers to learn how U.S. institutions are training fledgling journalists. During its April 30 to May 4 visit, the group also will examine how students prepare to cover international issues.

On Sunday April 30, the Council for International Visitors to Iowa Cities (CIVIC) will host a reception in the Amos Dean Rooms at the Sheraton Iowa City from 3:30 to 5 p.m. for CIVIC members and others who wish to meet the journalists. The reception is free and open to the public.

During their visit, the group will have lunch at noon Wednesday, May 3, with the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council (ICFRC) where they will discuss "Relations Between India and Pakistan in a Nuclear Era." The meeting is open to the public and takes place in the Rockwood Fellowship Hall in the Congregational Church, 30 N. Clinton St. Lunch will be catered by India Cafe and costs $5 for ICFRC members and $6 for non-members.

The eight members of this delegation are editors and reporters for a variety of well-known newspapers and magazines. The goal of the program is to bring the participants closer to understanding each other's perspectives on bilateral issues and to establish cross-border relationships among media representatives.

In the course of their U.S. visit, the participants will gain exposure to U.S. federal agencies involved in policy making, think tanks, academic institutions and the media who observe U.S. foreign policy towards South Asia. The program will also look at preventative diplomacy and conflict resolution with emphasis on issues in security and conflict resolution in the region.

While in Iowa the group will visit two local daily newspapers, The Iowa City Press-Citizen and The Iowa City Gazette, as well as two small-town weeklies, The West Branch Times and the West Liberty Index. They also will visit the Hoover Presidential Museum and Library in West Branch, and a school in West Liberty to observe its unique bilingual education program. The journalists will meet with UI faculty members involved with the Center for Human Rights and the South Asian Studies Program.

The Indian journalists include: Pranay Sharma, diplomatic correspondent for The Telegraph in New Delhi; Venky Mohan Narayan, senior diplomatic correspondent for The Press Trust of India; Jyoti Shukla, associate editor of Rediff On The Net; and Rakiyam Kandath Radhakrishnan, senior reporter for The Hindu in Chennai. The Pakistani journalists are: Aamir Ahmed Khan, editor of The Herald in Karachi; Zahid Hussain, senior assistant at Newsline in Karachi; Asadullah Ghalib, editor and columnist for Jang in Lahore; and Javed Akhtar Siddiq, executive editor and columnist for Ausaf in Islamabad.

CIVIC is a community organization of volunteers serving and hosting international visitors as a means to promote international understanding on a person-to-person basis. It is one of two such organizations in Iowa that accommodates the U.S. Department of State's International Visitor Program (IVP). IVP is a professional exchange program administered by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State.

The Council for International Visitors to Iowa Cities (CIVIC) is hosting the eastern Iowa City portion of the group's trip to the United States, with program arrangements made by Delphi International, a non-governmental organization.

Interviews with the journalists can be arranged. They are all proficient in English. For more information or a complete itinerary, call Tom Baldridge, CIVIC executive director, at 335-0351.