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Native Sun News: Mid-East and South Dakota journalists meet

Filed Under: National | World
More on: media, native sun news, oklahoma, state

The following story was written and reported by Brandon Ecoffey, Native Sun News Staff Writer. All content © Native Sun News.

Native Sun News along with Tom Katus, standing at right, of South Dakota Public Broadcasting, participated in a journalism roundtable discussion with representatives of Middle Eastern media on Monday, Nov 12, 2012, at the Dahl Fine Arts Center in downtown Rapid City.

A cultural convergence
Mid-East, S.D. journalists meet
Story and photo by Brandon Ecoffey
Native Sun News Staff Writer

RAPID CITY — Native Sun News recently participated in a roundtable discussion with journalists from near and far.

The Nov. 12 event, which was sponsored by the Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists and the U.S. State Department, brought together16 members of the media from several countries in the Middle East, including Morocco, Iraq, Palestine, and Saudi Arabia, as well as some who are working in the field of journalism right here in South Dakota.

The main objective of the forum was to give those in attendance the opportunity to have an open discussion about the media industry and culture in the United States.

Some of the discussion points outlined by the State Department prior to the start of the forum included the rights and responsibilities of the free press in a democracy, the practices of media institutions in the U.S. and a discussion of American culture.

The event took place at the Dahl Fine Arts center in Rapid City, at 713 7th St. across from the downtown main city library, and was moderated by Mike Richardson of the State Department. In addition to NSN, many other prominent journalists from a number of traditional and nontraditional South Dakota media outlets were in attendance including KOTA TV, South Dakota Public Broadcasting and Black Hills State University.

Although many of those in attendance were forced to overcome a language barrier the roundtable provided an opportunity for cross-cultural exchange between the members of South Dakota’s media outlets and those from the Middle East.

Surprisingly, what came out of the discussion was a realization that some of the major difficulties faced by journalists in the Middle East mirrored those that Native American newspapers encounter here in the U.S.

There were some sticking points, however, that arose during the discussion primarily over the perceived influence that the U.S. government has on the media industry in America.

The U.S. State Department conducts a number of events like this each year to help address stereotypes that exist on both sides of the planet.

(Contact Brandon Ecoffey at

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