CCIP Students at Cronkite School

We had a group of International students under the Community College Initiative Program (CCIP) who visited the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication today.Similar to the Humphrey Fellowship, this ten-month program is also offered by the U.S. Department of State as an exchange program to the young students.

The Humphrey Fellows shared their experiences with the visiting students. There were forty-seven visitors from different parts of the world based in four American community colleges.

I spoke about media entrepreneurship during the difficult times for the journalists with a special reference to The Baloch Hal, the online newspaper I edit with a small team and scarce resources. The newspaper, I said, reflected the changing trends in the media and the induction of online journalism and social networks. The future of journalism lies with online journalism.

Pakistan was the most represented country in the delegation. There were a lot of young Pakistani students from different parts of the country. Interestingly, one of them was a friend I had met when we were flying together from Pakistan to the United States. I was not expecting her in Arizona but it is always pleasant to reconnect with friends at an unanticipated location.

Pakistani Students in the Community College Initiative Program visiting Walter Cronkite School of Journalism

The US government truly deserves appreciation for paying so much attention to the the development of the Pakistani youth in various spheres of life. I know anti-Americanism in Pakistan is much higher and deeper than even many Islamic countries. However, I sincerely hope that such exchange programs will remarkably help in eradicating negative perceptions in the minds of the young Pakistanis about the US society and culture. After all, it is unfair to blame our youth for their narrow world vision. One

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has to blame the hateful textbooks which are replete with we-versus-rest-of-the-world.


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