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Fostering Interrnational Media Engagement

Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, gives a briefing at the Washington Foreign Press Center.

It is essential that the government foster an environment in which freedom of the press can flourish.

It is the mission of the United States Department of State to advance freedom for the benefit of the American people and the international community by helping to build and sustain a more democratic, secure, and prosperous world. To achieve this, it is essential that the government foster an environment in which freedom of the press can flourish.

Freedom of the press is protected by the United States Constitution. The U.S. government also facilities the work of the press – both domestic and foreign – through a variety of means.

"We're really focusing on our international journalists," said State Department International Media Specialist David Benton. "They appreciate the fact they have an office that's been designed specifically for them. I might add that we do also focus on international journalists that are based here in Washington." David Benton works at the Bureau of Public Affairs Office of International Media Engagement, which oversees six Regional Media Hubs that serve as overseas platforms for engagement of foreign audiences.

The United States Department of State has Foreign Press Centers in Washington, D.C. and New York that help foreign media cover the U.S. Their goal is to promote the depth, accuracy, and balance of foreign reporting for the U.S., by providing direct access to authoritative American information sources.

The State Department also created what is called State Department Live, "an online, web-based platform, which allows us to engage with maybe 20 journalists at a time," said Mr. Benton. "They click on a link and then they can view one of our spokespeople who would be sitting in this studio, for example. And then they are then able to submit questions online, in real time and they'll see an image of our spokesperson over the internet addressing their question. So, that's very exciting for journalists, again, overseas to be able to ask direct questions to U.S. government officials."

Active and open media engagement between governments and international journalists is an essential part of balanced media coverage. The U.S. State Department will continue to work with journalists from every part of the world as it strives to promote freedom of the press at home and abroad.