The Embassy of the United States of America in Brunei recently hosted a screening documentary dubbed “Joseph Pulitzer: Voice of the People” portraying the life of the pioneering newspaper owner and the ways he redefined American journalism.
The film which was produced by the American Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) was exclusively shown to local journalists and media representatives in Brunei, commemorating World Press Freedom Day held on 3 May.
In her welcoming, US Ambassador-designate Caryn McClelland said that the day serves as a reminder of the need to respect press freedom, celebrate the fundamental role of the press in informing the public and pay tribute to journalists who lost their lives in pursuit of the truth.
“The United States government supports a free and independent press because of the vital role it plays in our democracy. Our press connects citizens to the information they need to be able to advocate for themselves, make informed decisions and hold governmental officials accountable,” said the ambassador.
She further said that press freedoms are being eroded around the world where journalists face censorship, harassment, imprisonment, and death for reporting.
The United States, added the ambassador, is committed to working in partnership with members of the media, the private sector, non-governmental organisations and other concerned governments to support access to information and defend freedom of expression as well as brave journalists who face intimidation, harassment, arrest and violence in exercising their rights.
“Locally, the US Embassy in Brunei supports journalists’ professional development through trainings such as workshops we conducted on covering COVID-19 and photojournalism last year, and capacity building programmes such as the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) and the Study of the US Institutes (SUSI) exchanges. We also facilitate Foreign Press Center Reporting Tours to help foreign correspondents learn more about the United States,” continued McClelland.
Pulitzer is a media mogul best known for Pulitzer Prizes and an American icon who warned of the dangers of fake news over 100 years ago, said the embassy in a statement.
While he is remembered for the prizes that bear his name, his heroic battles in the face of grave illness and presidential ire have been forgotten, as has the artistry and game-changing originality he brought to newspapers.
At the end of the screening, local jourmalists and media representatives had discussions on challenges faced in their reporting work and how US Embassy programmes can support their professional development.
This article was first published on 28 May 2022 in our Weekly Epaper issue 195 | More stories here
THE BRUNEIAN | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN