Twelve editors from U.S. newspapers were awarded Pew Gatekeeper Fellowships and have recently returned from a one-week fact-finding visit to Indonesia organized by the Pew Fellowships in International Journalism program at SAIS. They were in Indonesia June 21 to 28.
The object of the program, according to John Schidlovsky, director of the Pew Fellowships in International Journalism, was "to raise the consciousness of editors about international news in general and the importance of one country in particular that is playing a larger role in the world."
The editors, "gatekeepers" responsible for selecting the content of their papers, had a firsthand opportunity to meet with a cross-section of influential leaders and citizens in Indonesia, the world's fourth most populous nation, where a fragile democracy has replaced decades of autocratic rule.
The group had an hourlong session with new President Abdurrahman Wahid and met with Indonesian officials and leaders of the media and business communities. They also traveled to a Nike factory outside Jakarta, where they interviewed workers who make shoes for export to the United States, and visited some of Jakarta's slums and port areas to talk with members of the populace.
Among the newspapers represented were the San Francisco Chronicle, Dallas Morning News, Rocky Mountain News, St. Paul Pioneer Press, Seattle Times, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Christian Science Monitor and San Jose Mercury News.
The gatekeepers program and the Pew Fellowships, which bring early- and mid-career journalists to Washington for two four-month sessions each year, are funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts.