Following an orientation in Washington D.C., five Russian journalists traveled to St. Louis on March 22-30 to get a glimpse of the city’s journalistic tendencies and women’s rights.  Their activities ranged from subjects such as ethical transparency in journalism, protection of women’s rights, and journalism and the #MeToo Movement. By meeting with local news outlets and officials, the group was able to engage with various parts of the journalistic process.

These international guests visited St. Louis through Open World, an exchange program that aims to provide options for depolarization between world leaders. More than 27,000 leaders have visited from post-Soviet era countries because of this program, leading to further cross-cultural understanding between countries with previously tense relations.

The delegation of five included Ms. Anna Sakharova (freelance journalist, Takie Dela (Such Things)), Ms. Darya Serenko (department head, Peresvetov Lane Gallery), Ms. Elina Ibragimova (Freelance Journalist), Ms. Galina Mosalova (creative producer, Takie Dela (Such Things)), and Ms. Sofya Shimanskaya (self-employed blogger). The group is accompanied by Ms. Polina Nozdrina-Plotnitskaya a bicultural facilitator, and Mrs. Irina Bronstein LaRose, a bilingual translator.

In St. Louis, delegates discussed best practices for transparency in journalism, protection of women’s rights, coverage of the #MeToo Movement, and the HIV crisis in Russia. Delegates planned to meet with staff of Sen. Roy Blunt, Missouri, and local leaders in the St. Louis area. Additional activities include KWMU-St. Louis Public Radio, Washington University, St. Louis American newspaper, and other prominent organizations. The delegation stayed in the homes of local WAC members serving as hospitality hosts.