Lahoc is a journalist at the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) in Lae, Morobe Province.
In a statement, the Embassy says: “His experience as a journalist has focused on advocacy for improved education and informing the public on industrial, economic and environmental implications and benefits of large international projects in the province”.
The program Lahoc will join is the “Edward R. Murrow Project for Journalists for East Asia and Pacific” and runs from October 31 through November 18 in the United States.
Together with eight other journalists from East Asia and the Pacific, Lahoc will examine the rights and responsibilities of a free press in a democracy; observe operational practices, standards and institutions of the media in the United States (particularly in light of the U.S. presidential election on November 8).
“They will gain insight into the social, economic and political structures of the United States; and participate in professional development seminars and an international symposium highlighting current trends and challenges in the media profession, foreign affairs reporting, and political affairs coverage,” says the Embassy.
“Lahoc will visit Washington, D.C.; Raleigh/Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Tampa, Florida; and New York, New York.
“The Edward R. Murrow Program honours the legendary CBS News radio reporter Edward R. Murrow, whose career included historic coverage of World War II and later critical reporting on Senator Joseph McCarthy.”
A core element of U.S. foreign policy is to encourage a free and responsible press, reads the statement.
“The press is a cornerstone of democracy, and through responsible reporting, it fosters a well-informed citizenry that can hold governments and institutions accountable.”
The 11th annual Edward R. Murrow Program for journalists is one of the Department of State’s flagship public diplomacy programs for media professionals and invites up-and-coming leaders in the field of journalism from around the world to examine the rights and responsibilities of a free press in a democracy.
(Picture: IVLP participant Gabriel Lahoc with staff from the U.S Embassy, Port Moresby’s Public Diplomacy Section)