Research for Global Development

Evaluation of Professional Journalism and Media Exchange Programs


Countries: United States, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Tanzania and Tunisia

Challenge

The U.S. Department of State’s professional journalism and media exchange programs, administered through the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), represent an important vehicle in supporting public diplomacy goals in promoting international cooperation. The ECA exchange programs provide thousands of media professionals from over 165 countries around the world with professional development and cross-cultural learning opportunities with counterparts at the local, regional and global levels. ECA, as part of its ongoing evaluation program, sought to gain a concrete and detailed understanding of the impact of the multiple program elements on international participants; their organizations; U.S. individuals; and U.S. institutions which have developed and implemented these programs.

Approach

InterMedia worked in close collaboration with ECA’s Office of Policy and Evaluation to design an assessment to understand the impact of the professional media exchange programs on the knowledge and skills gained; understanding of the role and rights of media in society; and attitude and behavior changes in the participants’ home countries. The assessment involved extensive document review; ECA stakeholder interviews; and a multi-method, multi-stage, multi-country data collection strategy to reach as many respondents and stakeholders as possible in the 140 countries from which participants were drawn. This approach included: fielding a global online survey in six languages; pre- and post-event paper surveys administered around a Murrow program event in New York; and field research conducted in four countries (Argentina, Azerbaijan, Tanzania and Tunisia) involving in-depth interviews and focus groups with exchange program alumni, local media experts, relevant Post staff, and other program stakeholders.

Insight

The final report analyzed the catalytic effect of the programs on individual participants, their colleagues and home institutions.  The findings revealed consistently positive outcomes in terms of increased self-worth and confidence; greater sense of pride and merit in the journalistic profession; deeper and more nuanced understanding of the role of media in a democracy; improved journalistic knowledge and skills; and empowerment to make changes in their professional and personal lives. The full report is available here: http://eca.state.gov/files/bureau/journalism-and-media-report.pdf

InterMedia

Evaluation of Professional Journalism and Media Exchange Programs


Countries: United States, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Tanzania and Tunisia

Challenge

The U.S. Department of State’s professional journalism and media exchange programs, administered through the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), represent an important vehicle in supporting public diplomacy goals in promoting international cooperation. The ECA exchange programs provide thousands of media professionals from over 165 countries around the world with professional development and cross-cultural learning opportunities with counterparts at the local, regional and global levels. ECA, as part of its ongoing evaluation program, sought to gain a concrete and detailed understanding of the impact of the multiple program elements on international participants; their organizations; U.S. individuals; and U.S. institutions which have developed and implemented these programs.

Approach

InterMedia worked in close collaboration with ECA’s Office of Policy and Evaluation to design an assessment to understand the impact of the professional media exchange programs on the knowledge and skills gained; understanding of the role and rights of media in society; and attitude and behavior changes in the participants’ home countries. The assessment involved extensive document review; ECA stakeholder interviews; and a multi-method, multi-stage, multi-country data collection strategy to reach as many respondents and stakeholders as possible in the 140 countries from which participants were drawn. This approach included: fielding a global online survey in six languages; pre- and post-event paper surveys administered around a Murrow program event in New York; and field research conducted in four countries (Argentina, Azerbaijan, Tanzania and Tunisia) involving in-depth interviews and focus groups with exchange program alumni, local media experts, relevant Post staff, and other program stakeholders.

Insight

The final report analyzed the catalytic effect of the programs on individual participants, their colleagues and home institutions.  The findings revealed consistently positive outcomes in terms of increased self-worth and confidence; greater sense of pride and merit in the journalistic profession; deeper and more nuanced understanding of the role of media in a democracy; improved journalistic knowledge and skills; and empowerment to make changes in their professional and personal lives. The full report is available here: http://eca.state.gov/files/bureau/journalism-and-media-report.pdf

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