An opening ceremony of the first part of the InteRussia internship program in journalism took place in Moscow

On September 12, the press center of International News Agency and Radio Sputnik hosted an opening of the first part of the InteRussia internship program. Journalism has become a new area of the ongoing program of the Gorchakov Fund for foreign professionals.

This part of the program brings participants from countries of Southeastern Asia – Brunei, Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines. The topic of the internship is “Russia and ASEAN: Achievements, Dilemmas, Challenges”. Partners of the current program are ASEAN Center at MGIMO University and Sputnik Agency.

InteRussia provides a unique opportunity for professionals to attend lectures and master classes taught by top media agencies, learn first-hand about the Russian agenda, exchange experience with colleagues from various countries and attend public diplomacy events hosted by partners. During four weeks of the intensive training, the participants will be able to visit major sociopolitical and technological platforms and meet representatives of the academic and expert community.

Vasily Pushkov, Director for Foreign Cooperation at Sputnik, welcomed the guests during the morning opening meeting.

“This is the first program of such scale hosted by us after the pandemic. I understand that Russia is an exotic country for all of you as your countries are for us. It is not surprising since we are not the closest neighbors. However, we have not chosen countries of Southeastern Asia by chance – it is one of the main directions of the Russia’s turn to the East, and the power of the global economy today is concentrated right in Asia. The profession of a journalist has been changing a lot in the world – nobody is working the same way as even 10 years ago. Problems that we are facing are the same, that is why we need to get together and discuss them. There are no banned topics. Welcome to the program!”

Lyana Dymova, International Programs Coordinator of the Gorchakov Fund, also welcomed the participants of the internship.

“Coordination of such program has become a real challenge for us due to uncertainty in the world. The main goal of InteRussia is to give foreign professionals from different industries a chance to learn about Russia as much as possible by visiting our country and exchanging experience with colleagues from other countries. The ASEAN region is becoming one of important centers of economic growth and major political changes. I am happy to see you here, and I hope that we will make a contribution to development of our productive relationship”.

Director of ASEAN Center, Associate Professor of the Department of Oriental Studies at MGIMO University Yekaterina Koldunova focused on importance of objective knowledge about Russia, which should be developed in the countries of the region.

“Russia is interested in developing relations with the ASEAN countries; however, the informational divide between our country and countries of the region is still remains big. The perspective on Russia promoted by western media is often biased. If you meet Russian people, you will understand that we have a lot in common psychologically. We also appreciate real friendship – you might not be met with a smile right away, but once you become real friends, that friendship will be very strong. I want you to have comprehensive understanding of what Russia represents and what is happening there”.

Later, the participants attended a master class on working with news and information taught by Victoria Polikarpova, Deputy Director of the Chief Directorate for Information at Sputnik.

“Any journalist has to write under a certain “angle” – it can always be seen already in the first paragraph of the article. However, we should strive for a balanced point of view and give the right of voice to all parties. I believe that the multipolar world already exists – we are not covering events using the same narrative, and in order to do that we should study ideologies of not only certain countries, but whole blocks and regions, know mentality and religious views of local people. Responsible journalism is needed, the main goal of which is accuracy. Use reliable sources of information – governmental agencies, data provided by local authorities. Make your own list of media, which you trust and be “Google-oriented” – check information that you doubt”.