Digital Communication Network Exchange Program, USA

Publish Date: Oct 05, 2015

Deadline: Nov 15, 2015

Event Dates: from Apr 10, 2016 12:00 to May 07, 2016 12:00

Funded by the U.S. Department of State and implemented by World Learning, the Digital Communication Network exchange program is creating a collaborative network of journalists and communication professionals from across Europe and Central Asia, working together to strengthen communication skills through the development and dissemination of digital content. The program will focus on communication tools, and link, in an integrated fashion, journalism, social media, and civil society.

Through this two-way exchange for communication professionals from Europe, Central Asia, and the United States, participants exchange ideas, strategies, and best practices regarding different facets of communication particularly as it applies to digital and online content. The program explores new models for public engagement while developing sustainable and enduring linkages with professional counterparts throughout Europe and Central Asia.

A total of 25 participants will be selected through an open competition process to come to the United States for a four-week professional program scheduled for April 10th through May 7th, 2016. Participants should work and reside in one of the following countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Tajikistan, and Ukraine.

The U.S.-based program will include an orientation and overview of the issues, a case study looking at different facets of communication with a focus on digital content, professional fellowship placements, training workshops (learning labs), and a closing session in Washington, D.C. Placements will be in media, not-for-profit, non-governmental organizations (NGO), public policy organizations, communication companies or university institutes, across the United States. Placements will focus on topics such as the use of technology for advocacy and social causes, development of mobile applications to disseminate information and promote open responsive government, multi-media storytelling, and the creation of integrated multi-channel social messaging, strategic communication, crisis communication, political communication, ethical journalism, investigative reporting, and a nexus of digital and mainstream journalism. Professional development will be supplemented through an online platform, offering social media resources and MOOCs, as well as trainings on planning, executing, and assessing integrated and effective social media campaigns. To enhance program sustainability and effectiveness, participants will create and implement individual follow-on projects in their home countries. Actions plans for the participants' follow-on projects or “media communication plans” will be developed throughout the course of the U.S. program.

An American outbound component, tentatively scheduled for the summer of 2016, will support participants’ individual media communication plans, facilitate regional training conferences for program participants, and help solidify and expand the Digital Communications Network. Accommodation will consist of double-person hotel rooms. A small stipend will be provided to participants while in the United States to cover basic living expenses. The cost of international and domestic travel, program related ground transportation, cultural activities, and all other programmatic and logistical arrangements will be covered as part of the Digital Media Communication exchange program.

Candidates for the program will be independent journalists and strategic communication professionals (ages 25-40), including social media specialists from mainstream and alternative press, independent bloggers, satirists and civil society leaders. Candidates will have a demonstrated capacity to reach large audiences either online or through traditional media, or possess the potential to disseminate information to a large audience. Candidates with excellent interpersonal and communication skills, proven leadership abilities, stated desire to work in a cross-cultural setting, and a commitment to working with communication professionals from across the region are encouraged to apply. Every effort will be made to attract as large and diverse applicant pool as possible, including persons with disabilities, a balanced mix of male and female participants, participants from different ethnic groups, and work sites. To select the best candidates, World Learning will review applications based on clearly defined criteria, including:

• English language competency
• A minimum of two-years of professional experience in a relevant field
• Stated commitment to accurate and authentic reporting of news events
• Ability to disseminate information to a wide and diverse audience
• Willingness to utilize new media tools to amplify impact and outreach
• Preferably have not traveled to the United States since May 2013

The application must be completed in English. The deadline for submitting the application is November 15, 2015. As a pre-condition for the application to be considered, applicants need to join the program's existing communication network at Digital Communication Network

Please note that due to the anticipated volume of applications, we will only contact semi-finalists. No calls please.

We appreciate your interest in this project and look forward to working with you.

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