WASHINGTON, DC – The United States Embassy in Kingston has selected Ms. Shamette Hepburn, Deputy Star Editor with The Gleaner Company Limited, to participate in the U.S. Department of State-sponsored Edward R. Murrow Program for journalists.
The program is part of a global effort to bring journalists to the United States to examine the country’s practices, standards and institutions of the media. It will include journalists from across the world with backgrounds in print and broadcast media, as well as those representing newly emerging independent media outlets.
Ms. Hepburn has been employed to the Gleaner Company Limited since 2004, when she joined the Western Bureau as a staff reporter. A graduate of the University of the West Indies and the Central Connecticut State University, she holds a Master of Science degree in Educational Leadership.
The three-week multi-city program, which begins on April 16, will take Ms. Hepburn and her 22 counterparts to Washington, D.C. where they will meet with U.S. Department of State officials, foreign policy and think tank analysts to examine current media trends and foreign policy coverage in the United States. The group is expected to participate in an on-the-record briefing by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
The Edward Murrow delegation will attend a workshop designed by the American University’s International Communication Program, with expert panels and working groups to explore such issues as “Investigative Reporting”, “Global Issues in Freedom of Expression”, and “Serving the Public Interest: Comparison of the U.S. and International Media”.
In Denver, Colorado, Ms. Hepburn will meet with Mayor John Hickenlooper to discuss the role of journalism and the cooperation between the city government and the media. She is also expected to visit several media houses including KRMA Channel 6, a full-service community-based PBS member to discuss public-private sector media partnerships.
According to Ms. Hepburn, “I hope to learn from the diverse experiences of the other participants – in working in the media as well as how the coverage of various events of national and international significance is approached, especially matters of politics, government policy, human rights, citizen journalism as well as the global impact of media.”
She further added, “The most important aspect of the initiative and one that I am very excited about is the opportunity it will create for the sharing and exchange of ideas with other practitioners, both at The Gleaner and in other media organizations.”