McKinley Hosts International Journalists
By Ashley McBride
Twenty print and broadcast journalists from McKinley were able to interact with journalists from around the world who were visiting the U.S. with the Edmund Murrow Program, sponsored by the U.S. State Department.
The event began with a panel discussion moderated by Athelia Knight from The Washington Post Young Journalist Development Program. The topic was "Preparing the Pipeline: A Discussion about U.S. High School Journalism." On the panel were Craig Branson, online director of the American Society of Newspaper Editors; Gary Clites, Jr., President of the Maryland-District of Columbia Scholastic Press; Mark Goodman, Executive Director of the Student Press Law Center; and Carlos Hernandez, reporter for The McKinley Wire.
Afterwards, each high school participant was paired off with an international journalist. Among the countries represented were Israel, Singapore, Guyana, Netherlands Antilles, Thailand, Poland, Jamaica, Namibia, Liberia, Romania, Mexico, Columbia, Turkey, the Philippines, Brazil, Uganda, Gambia, Oman, Suriname, Serbia and Egypt. For many of the school newspaper staff, this was an amazing experience.
In the U.S., our journalists are protected under the First Amendment, but as students discovered, that is not always the case in other countries.
"Our freedom of speech here is amazing compared to the Netherlands Antilles," said Alton Lucas, who was paired with Otti Thomas. "He cannot say anything bad in the paper about the Netherlands' royalty or the government."
"This was a great experience for me, because it taught me how to appreciate our Bill of Rights," said Adam Williams, 11th grade broadcast student, who spoke with a reporter from Liberia. "They will get punished heavily if the printed half the stuff we do."
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