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USA Today Founding Editor Celebrates World Press Freedom Day in Vladivostok

May 4, 2011
Men and women sit and stand. (Photo by State Dept.)

Amy Eisman (second on the right) takes part in "“Contemporary Issues of Regional Journalism" round table.

The U.S. Consulate General in Vladivostok and its local partner, Vladivostok University of Economics (VGUES) consolidated their efforts to celebrate on May 4th World Press Freedom Day (WPF) with a high profile international journalism seminar. Over 20 editors and journalists of principal regional media organizations joined the round table discussion “Contemporary Issues of Regional Journalism.” Media representatives were joined by dozens of other interested participants - from post graduate students and professors to the Chairman of Primorsky Krai Duma Viktor Gorchakov. The main focus of the event was the presentations made by the two keynote speakers, one, American and the other, Russian. The American side was represented by Amy Eisman, a prominent U.S. media expert and trainer who visited Vladivostok through a DoS Speaker Program. Professor Eisman is one of the USA TODAY founding editors, an executive editor of the AMERICAN WEEKEND magazine, and content editor of AOL on-line; currently she is a Director of Writing Programs at the School of Communications at American University. The Russian perspective was presented by Vladimir Mamontov, President of Izvestia, a member of the Russian Press Academy and the Russian Public Chamber. Professor Eisman launched the seminar with her report on “American Regional Media in the XXI Century: a Search for New Successful Business Models.” Andrey Kalachinskiy, a journalism professor and seminar moderator stated: “We were very pleased by the fact that Ms. Eisman’s report was business-oriented. Unfortunately, at the moment, the key business model for a majority of the Russian regional media is to please local authorities and oligarchs while begging for their sponsorship. Professor Eisman demonstrated how digital technologies reshape modern publishing models that present immense opportunities for independent editors and citizen journalists. Many of her insights are of extreme importance for those regional publishers who try to model themselves on being a “watchdog of public interest.”