The 24 journalists from Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe selected to cover the Indiana State presidential primaries in the USA, have described the programme as a life-time experience.
They have, therefore, commended the US Government, through the Foreign Press Centre for creating the opportunity for them not just to cover the primaries, but to have the rare chance of meeting leadership of the two political parties as well as experts who took them through various topics, while they were in Washington.
Nuts & Bolts of a US Election
Dubbed, “Nuts & Bolts of a US Election”, the reporting tour which started in Washington, DC, gave the foreign journalists the opportunity to better analyse the U.S. national electoral process, as well as do more in-depth features that explain to their readers/audiences, the American voter and the unique democratic political system.
The journalists in separate interviews were unanimous with their commendations and also praised the staff of the Foreign Press Centre for an excellent arrangements, which enabled them to touch base with the US governance system.
A Palestinian journalist, Ms Najah Musallam, was grateful to the organisers of the programme, saying that, had it not been for the programme, she did not know how she would have visited the states and had the opportunity to interact with all the officialdom she met with.
She also commended the people of America for their warm reception because when she was selected to participate in the programme, she was sceptical and wondered whether she would be accepted in that country.
“But I was impressed with their warm reception. Even on the streets, people meet me and say, ‘Salam alekum’ and that made me felt at home,” she said.
For his part, an Indian journalist, Mr Nikhil Dixit said the programme was an eye-opener and afforded him the opportunity to learn more about the US unique democratic system.
“It was really an educating and enlightening programme that created the platform for journalists of diverse background to meet, interact and share experiences and ideas,” he said.
A Senior Editor of Fairfax Media NZ newspaper in New Zealand, Dr Vernon Small was happy that the programme created the platform for interaction at an international level making it as though, within two weeks he had been able to visit 23 countries.
He thanked the US Government for such an opportunity, saying he would not hesitate recommending it to others.
An editor with the City Press newspaper in South Africa, Mr Rapule Tabane
A Georgian online journalist, Mr Tazo Kupreshvili was excited that the programme was a great opportunity to meet political leadership face to face.
“It was really a great opportunity to meet great politicians and interact with great journalists across the world and I wish to recommend it to others,” he said.