For Immediate Release
May 21, 2021
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia – U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh, in partnership with the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ), is hosting a Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) virtual regional workshop on citizen journalism. The six-week course began on May 18, 2021.
“A free and independent press is vital in a prosperous democracy,” U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia W. Patrick Murphy told the participants in his opening remarks.
“More than ever, we need reporters and citizen journalists to hold government accountable at all levels and raise awareness of issues, challenges, and opportunities in society. I am confident this workshop will give young leaders from across Southeast Asia the skills to do that.”
At this virtual regional workshop, 43 participants from all 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and Timor-Leste will gain a practical understanding of citizen journalism, learn the essentials of journalistic ethics, and develop the capability to produce quality, evidence-based reporting.
U.S. Mission to ASEAN Chargé d’Affaires Melissa A. Brown shared that “journalist empowerment in Southeast Asia, through training opportunities provided by YSEALI, the International Visitor Leadership Program, and the U.S. Agency for International Development-ASEAN Youth Social Journalism Contest, contribute to the region’s progress towards free and open societies that support civic engagement and accountability. U.S. and ASEAN initiatives have contributed to improved rankings among some Southeast Asian nations on the Reporters without Borders’ World Press Freedom Index; we applaud them for their advancement.”
“Citizen journalists play an important role in providing news for their communities, and this program is designed to create leaders in this field,” said Johanna Carrillo, ICFJ’s vice president of programs. “By learning the essentials of good journalism, these participants will help spread fact-based information throughout the region.” Citizen journalists are those who, outside of mainstream news organizations, report and disseminate news.
YSEALI is the U.S. government’s signature program in Southeast Asia to educate and provide leadership skills training to young people 18 to 35. YSEALI builds leadership capabilities of Southeast Asian youth and promotes cross-border cooperation to solve regional and global challenges. YSEALI has conducted many workshops and sent Southeast Asians on a variety of exchange programs, including: a regional workshop in Thailand on critical thinking skills; a media literacy workshop in Burma; a YSEALI Seeds for the Future grant to a Filipino public health news source, sending participants on professional and academic fellowships; and more.
For more information:
Spokesperson, U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh