CONTACT: LOIS GRAY
Iowa City IA 52242
Release: August 12, 1999
Mongolian journalists, political leaders visit Iowa
City Aug. 16-18
IOWA CITY, Iowa Six Mongolian journalists and
two members of parliament will visit the University of Iowa and Iowa City
Aug. 16-18 to learn more about anti-corruption efforts in this country and
practical ways in which journalists can help to promote such efforts in Mongolia.
The Council for International Visitors to Iowa Cities
(CIVIC) is hosting the eastern Iowa portion of the group's trip to the United
States, with program arrangements made by the Meridian International Center,
a non-governmental organization.
As did almost every former communist regime, the northern
Asian country of Mongolia underwent a fundamental political revolution with
the collapse of the Soviet Union. In early 1990 Mongolia underwent its own
relatively peaceful democratic revolution, which included legalization of
multiple and opposing political parties, a dramatically rewritten constitution,
a set of free and relatively fair legislative and presidential elections,
opening of the market economy, and freedom of the press.
These Mongolian visitors will examine the experience
of government officials and the role of journalists in promoting anti-corruption
activities. They are specifically interested in learning about gaining journalistic
access to government information to pursue successful investigative reporting
on corruption; developing an understanding of the journalistic ethics that
should govern investigative reporting on corruption issues to make sure that
it is fair and balanced; and learning how to utilize the news media to generate
thoughtful and productive public dialogue on corruption and its impact on
the country's economy and society.
Members of the group include: Tsendendorj Dashdondov,
president of the Mongolian Free Democratic Journalist's Association; Tsend
Enkhbat, managing director of the Mongolian Press Institute; Tumor-Ochir Erdenebileg,
member of the Great Hural (Parliament); Baasanjav Gandbold, editor-in-chief
of the Zunny Medee (News of the Century); Tsogsuren Ganbold, head of "MM"
Television Agency (Government National News Agency); Tugsjargal Gandi, member,
Great Hural (Parliament); Dr. Baaran Purevdash, editor-in-chief, Onooder newspaper;
and Baymbajav Tsenddoo, sub-editor, Oriin Sonin (Daily News.) They will be
accompanied by one English language escort and two escort-interpreters.
Tom Baldridge, CIVIC executive director, has arranged
for the group to meet with some of the following: editors and reporters from
the Cedar Rapids Gazette and the Iowa City Press-Citizen; local television
stations; Stephen Atkins, city manager, Iowa City; UI Sociology Professor
Jae-On Kim, director of the Center for Asian and Pacific Studies (CAPS); Jeffrey
Smith, professor of journalism and mass communications; and Ken Starck, professor
of journalism and mass communication, and Gazette Company ombudsman. The group
will also have dinner at the home of Doris Houser in Iowa City.
CIVIC is a community organization of volunteers serving
and hosting international visitors as a means to promote international understanding
on a person-to-person basis. It is one of two such organizations in Iowa that
accommodates the U.S. Information Agency's International Visitor Program (IVP).
IVP is a professional exchange program administered by the Bureau of Educational
and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Information Agency.
Interviews with the visitors can be arranged. Several
of them have proficient English and the others have interpreters. For more
information or a complete itinerary, call Tom Baldridge, CIVIC executive director,