The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Dec 04, 2012

Young media professionals exchange program takes off

Posted by Bob Tinsley

The first round of the “U.S.-Russia Young Media Professionals Exchange Program” is under way with generous support from Knight Foundation and the Moscow Union of Journalists.

Twelve Russian journalists arrived in Washington, D.C. on Monday, Nov. 26, and received their program orientation at the International Center for Journalists, who is running the program in the U.S.

The Russian journalists met with representatives of media organizations such as The Washington Post, Politico and the Center for Public Integrity. A visit to the Washington offices of Google gave them a chance to ask questions about the organization’s policies and learn about the latest digital tools. In another session, the journalists interviewed a media lawyer on issues such as copyright law and fair use of materials online. They also visited the Newseum, the interactive museum that chronicles five centuries of news history.

The Russian journalists are now on individual assignments that ICFJ arranged for them at U.S. media organizations. The journalists – who represent print and online media as well as television and radio – have dispersed to destinations from the West Coast to South Florida. The participating media include The Seattle Times, New York-based and The Miami Herald. Lists of all the participating journalists’ affiliations is below.

Meanwhile, a counterpart group of 12 American journalists reached Moscow on Tuesday, Nov. 27, where they are the guests of the Moscow Union of Journalists. The Americans also have begun work at Moscow-based media organizations.

You can follow them at this Tumblr blog as they post text, photo and video and share their impressions throughout the program. The Twitter hashtag is #usrussia.

The Russian journalists will return on Dec. 19 from their U.S. media assignments to Washington, where they will share their experiences and impressions. They will return to Russia on December 20. Similarly, the U.S. journalists will complete their program and return to the United States on Dec. 21.

The program offers the participating journalists the chance to work in newsrooms and build professional relationships with one another and mutual understanding between their countries. The intent is to dispel stereotypes on both sides and improve the quality of news coverage.

The U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission’s working group on media conceived the program idea. A second round of the exchange will take place in 2013 on dates to be determined.

By Bob Tinsley, Prosposal Development Director at the International Center for Journalists 

Russian journalist participants and their U.S. media hosts:

  • Ms. Olga Filina, editor, Ogoniok weekly magazine U.S. media host: The Miami Herald; Miami, Fla.
  • Ms. Elizaveta Golikova, Kommersant newspaper, editor-in-chief of Kommersant online U.S. media host:, The Wall Street Journal; New York, N.Y.
  • Mr. Mikhail Kharlamov, Evening Moscow newspaper, editor, “Moscow Authority” section U.S. media host: The Pittsburgh News-Tribune; Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Mr. Peter Lekarev, author and host, “Voice of Russia” Radio Company U.S. media host:  Oregon Public Broadcasting; Portland, Ore.
  • Ms. Anastasia Matveeva, correspondent, business and finance department, for online magazine, U.S. media host: City University Television; New York, N.Y.
  • Ms. Natalia Menshikova, International and Public Relations Department, first deputy director, ITAR-TASS News Agency U.S. host:  Edelman, the world’s largest public relations firm; Washington, D.C.
  • Ms. Eva Merkacheva, special correspondent, Moskowsky Komsomolets newspaper U.S. media host:  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Ms. Victoria Politova, staff journalist, “Echo of the Planet” magazine U.S. media host:  World Policy Journal, New York City
  • Ms. Elena Potapova, executive multimedia editor, Rossiyskaya Gazeta, “Russia Beyond the Headlines” project. U.S. media host: The Miami Herald; Miami, Florida
  • Ms. Svetlana Utochkina, deputy director of photography department, Photo-TASS Agency U.S. media host: The Virginian-Pilot; Norfolk, Va.
  • Ms. Ekaterina Vyskrebentseva, special correspondent for “TV Center” TV company U.S. media host: City University Television; New York, N.Y.
  • Mr. Ivan Yurchenko, editor of website, Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper U.S. media host: The Seattle Times; Seattle, Washington

U.S. journalist participants and their Russian media hosts:

All the American journalists are placed with Moscow media organizations affiliated with the Union of Journalists of Moscow.

  • Ms. Alissa Ambrose, Time magazine, Light Box photography website, New York Russian media host:  ITAR-TASS News Agency
  • Mr. Scott Brauer, freelance photojournalist and media commentator; Cambridge, Mass. Russian media host:  Photo-TASS Agency
  • Mr. Luke Johnson, associate politics editor, The Huffington Post; Washington, D.C.; Russian media host:  Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper
  • Ms. Ryan Maye Handy, staff reporter, The Gazette; Colorado Springs, Colo. Russian media host:  Kommersant newspaper 
  • Ms. Amy Brittain, investigative reporter The Washington Post, Washington, D.C. Russian media host:  Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper
  • Aaron Sharockman, deputy government and politics editor, Tampa Bay Times; Tampa, Fla. Russian media host:  Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper
  • Mr. Paul de Revere, staff reporter, Tallahassee Democrat newspaper; Tallahassee, Fla. Russian media host:  Vechernyaya Moskva newspaper
  • Ms. Olga Belogolova, staff reporter, The National Journal newsmagazine; Washington, D.C. Russian media host:  Ogoniok weekly magazine
  • Mr. Joseph Hammond, country editor, The Oil and Gas Year; Dubai, UAE. Mr. Hammond works from a base in Long Beach, Calif. Russian media host:  Echo of the Planet magazine 
  • Ms. Alexandra Nikolchev, associate producer, “Need to Know” news program, WNET-TV; New York, N.Y. Russian media host:  Russia-24 television
  • Ms. Vanessa Yurkevich, staff reporter, NY1 television news; New York, N.Y. Russian media host:  TV Centre television
  • Mr. Vladic Ravich, freelance writer and photojournalist,, New York, N.Y. Russian media host:  “Voice of Russia” Radio Company

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