AFC-USA: Writing a New Chapter in the History of Foreign Journalists in the USA
The Association of Foreign Correspondents in the USA presented their first annual event a presentation of Annual Awards and Scholarships at Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute. This organization represents prominent foreign journalists residing and working as correspondents across the USA. It was established by a group of influential colleagues as an organization that can reliably represent them.
The Association of Foreign Correspondents created in May 2019, assembled its first awards event to present its honorary prizes and scholarships to foreign journalists. This new Association of Foreign Correspondents created and represented primarily by foreign journalists of different nationalities living and working in the US, presented three honorary prizes for 2019 to the former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, the President of the United Nations Correspondents Association Valeria Robecco, and Suzanne Adams, who today, is a valued special advisor to the new Association of Foreign Correspondents.
Chairwoman and founding director of the AFC, Nancy Prager-Kamel presented the five scholarship awards to foreign journalists pursuing their master's degrees in the USA from Kenya ( Larry Madowo) South Africa (Kimon de Greef), Bulgaria (Petar Georgiev), India (Vora Priyanka) and Russia (Natalia Kniazhevich).
The President of the Association of Foreign Correspondents, Thanos Dimadis, an established Greek journalist who was appointed as president of the organization on the basis of a new beginning for foreign journalists’ representation in America stated: "the fate of our profession as journalists as well as the responsibility to protect the dignity, independence, integrity, and safety of our profession is on the shoulders of all of us. We cannot win this fight unless all journalists from different levels––local, national, and international––work together and get organized through unions and organizations that can ensure their fair and bold representation; that’s the only way to make our voices heard, and that is why the existence of entities like our organization- the Association of Foreign Correspondents and others like the United Nations Correspondents Association, the Overseas Press Club, and the Committee to Protect Journalists, is key."
At the award ceremony, Former Secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, thanked the Association of Foreign Correspondents for his award and congratulated the AFC-USA scholarship recipients, wishing them "good luck and success in their careers." His message connoted that the foreign correspondents from all over the world should be harnessed to work together as they have the power to bring the message of unity and we are all interconnected planet.
Valeria Robecco, a keynote speaker, highlighted her substantial efforts in her capacity as President of the United Nations Correspondents Association to strengthen the United Nations and "to take a step forward in addressing the protection of journalism and journalists all over the world by appointing a special representative for the Protection of Journalists, a key figure that can no longer be ignored within the debate on freedom and accuracy of information."