In December 2018, young journalists from five countries, such as Bulgaria, Nigeria, Paraguay, Philippines, and South Sudan, visited The Connection to discuss important mass media topics.
The journalists were invited by the U.S. Department of State as participants of the “International Visitor Leadership Program,” and also the “Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists,” multi-regional project with emphasis on “Media Responsibility in an Age of Disinformation.”
Each guest has a successful career in the mass media.
Mina Ognyanova is an editor at Bloomberg TV Bulgaria. She writes articles on business, forestry, and energy issues.
Olufemi Olanipekun is a head of an independent radio station in Nigeria. He is experienced in broadcast news reporting and radio production.
Gretchen Ong Ho is an anchor at ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs in the Philippines. She is an advocate for women’s empowerment and developed the “Women in Action” initiative.
Mareng Michael Nhial is a program producer at Voice of Hope radio station in South Sudan. He reports on issues in government, business, and human rights.
Claudia Merlos Vallejos is a journalist at the Diario Ultima Hora newspaper in Paraguay. In the past, she used to be a communication advisor and press coordinator for the United Nations.
The foreign journalists asked multiple questions about The Connection, such as distribution, subjects of the broadcast, and overall goal for the mass media.
The Connection staff answered the questions with great interest.
“Our goal is to inform the Tulsa Community College (TCC) and the community,” said Lauren Bateman, The Connection photographer. The guests were eager to discuss the topic of fake news on the Internet and social media. It appeared that fake news is a big problem in many counties of the world.
Mareng Michael Nhial noticed that fake news reaches people faster than good news.
Gretchen Ong Ho stated that education is a good way to fight fake news. At the end of the meeting, The Connection staff gave issues of the newspaper to the guests as gifts.
That was not the first time that foreign journalists have visited The Connection. Within the last three years, delegations from African countries, China, and Hong Kong have come to meet the editorial board with the support of Tulsa Global Alliance and TCC Global Learning.