Indian Journalists Visit Central Florida

Journalists from several Indian news organizations participated in an International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) visit to the Orlando area in April. The local schedule of activities was organized and facilitated by the World Affairs Council of Central Florida.

Hailing from the Indian states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, the journalists spent two weeks in various cities across the U.S. They gleaned insights into the broad issue of U.S. foreign policy, as well as specific topics such as international trade, counter-terrorism, climate change and the environment, and gender-based violence. The visitors included Sunitha Natti, special correspondent in business, The New Indian Express; Prithvi Raju Ponnuru, assistant editor, Sakshi; Bala GangadharTilak Tummala, chief sub editor, Eenadu; and Venkata Gunneswara Rao Undralla, news editor, TV5 Telugu News Channel.

During the Central Florida portion of the journalists’ stay, they met with various organizations, among them UCF offices such as The India Center, the Global Perspectives Office, the Terrorism Studies Program and the Human Trafficking Awareness Program. John C. Bersia, special assistant to the president for Global Perspectives and co-chair of The India Center, hosted a working lunch for the group, and addressed U.S. relations with Asia. Ted Reynolds, senior research fellow in Terrorism Studies, answered questions about political violence and its connections to human trafficking.

This visit comes at a time of increasing interaction between U.S. and Telegu-speaking cultures. According to IVLP, Telugu-language media rank among the fastest-growing media sectors in India. Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have more than a dozen daily newspapers, with a circulation exceeding 5 million. In addition, there are some 20 Telugu television news channels serving over 20 million viewers in the two states. The largest number of Telugu speakers outside of India live in the U.S. Travelers from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh increasingly are coming to America for vacations, education and business. As a result, IVLP notes, Telugu media are paying more attention to international issues, particularly U.S.-India relations and other aspects of U.S. foreign policy.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Bersia said, “It was a wonderful opportunity to share ideas, and compare and contrast approaches to news gathering and analysis. As a former journalist, I found the discussion especially eye-opening. Ideally, the conversations that started here will continue, along with exchanges stimulated by the interaction between Natti, Ponnuru, Tummala and Undralla and the people they met here.”

Comments are closed.