International Journalism Institute opens at IDC

IDC Herzliya has opened a new journalism institute which aims to 'promote tolerance and understanding...through journalism.'

IDC Herziliya 370 (photo credit: Yotam From)
IDC Herziliya 370
(photo credit: Yotam From)
The IDC Herzliya inaugurated its new Daniel Pearl International Journalism Institute this week, the result of a partnership with the Daniel Pearl Foundation.
The foundation, which was created in memory of the Wall Street Journal reporter who was kidnapped and murdered in Pakistan in early 2002, aims to “promote tolerance and understanding internationally through journalism, music and dialogue.”
To mark the opening, the IDC’s Sammy Ofer School of Communications officially named its newsroom after Pearl.
The new institute, which is also working in collaboration with the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, will award annual international journalism fellowships to “outstanding reporters who have proven their commitment to creating a better understanding of the Middle East through exemplary work.”
During the two-month fellowship, journalists will study both at the IDC and at one of the world’s top international schools of journalism.
The fellows will also have the opportunity to intern at news organizations in Israel and abroad.
According to the institute, this global partnership “aims to provide promising journalists with the opportunity to hone their skills, work with people from diverse backgrounds and experience journalistic excellence abroad.”
In a statement, the institute said it was working with Columbia “to build one track of the fellowship in the United States. In parallel, we are reaching out to other exceptional universities and potential partners to build an array of stimulating fellowship tracks worldwide.”
In addition to the fellowship, the center will offer a 10-day immersion program for reporters arriving in the Middle East from abroad.
The program “will introduce participants to the historical, cultural, geographical, political and economic factors that define Israel, the Palestinian territories and the wider region,” the institute said.
The immersion program, established in collaboration with Columbia’s Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, aims to “train journalists in the methodology and practice of informed, innovative and ethical news reporting on violence and conflict.”
“I am so proud of the establishment of this institute, which represents a combination of values which embodied Daniel’s spirit,” said Prof. Judea Pearl, Daniel’s father and president of the Daniel Pearl Foundation.
“It’s hard to find these days, in any media outlet, a story described in a true and realistic way,” he said, “Our most important mission for creating peace is to learn how to listen and hear the other side’s story.
“The Palestinians perceive Israel as a state which will stop at nothing to achieve its goals, which is why any form of Israeli humanity is absent from Palestinian media,” he continued. “We cannot think of a better gesture than opening the Daniel Pearl International Journalism Institute to reflect his life’s work and the complicated relationship in the Middle East.”
IDC president and founder Prof. Uriel Reichman stated that “tragedy in the story of Daniel Pearl teaches us the values of patience, compassion, a search for justice and journalism objectivity. In fact, all the things that would heal us from the conflict is in the Middle East.”
He added that “maybe one day, thanks to journalists, we will find a way to live in peace with the Palestinians.”
Pulitzer Prize winner Josh Friedman, a former director of international programs at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, visited Israel this week for the opening of the institute. He expressed his wish “to advance the cooperation between the institute and Columbia University.”
“The goal is that the institute in [Pearl’s] name will succeed in exposing the truth in covering conflict in the Middle East,” he said.
“The idea of studying journalism in Israel is extremely important and should reflect both sides of the Middle Eastern conflict.”