The Press Section
The U.S. Embassy Press Section is responsible for the media support to the U.S. Mission activities as well as projects undertaken by U.S. agencies (USAID, Peace Corps) based in Madagascar and promotes and organizes programs on youth civic engagement and environmental protection with the use of new technology.
The Press Section publishes official press releases and organizes communication with the media such as press conferences, interviews with the diplomats or project directors, and establishing press contact with visiting experts.
On a regular basis the Press Section provides local media, institutions and analysts with information reflecting U.S. government policy on current events in the United States and around the world. Every day it delivers news from local U.S. Mission activities and from The Department of State in Washington. Radio stations can also have the rights to broadcast “Voice of America (VOA)”programming. Podcasts in English and French on successful stories and thematic issues such as environment, agriculture, entrepreneurship are available on demand.
In order to support the Malagasy democratization process, the Press Section cooperates with domestic and international partners, supports and develops – through the Dr Martin Luther King’s Youth Civic Center – programs focused on building young people’s capacity in the field of leadership, democracy, civic education, governance, as well as other topics helping young people take their responsibilities as citizens. The programs include a series of workshops and conferences, training sessions, exchanges and debates as well as direct or virtual meetings between young people and experts (DVC, Facebook chat, webinar, Skype, etc). There are also events to celebrate World Days and American ones, as well as various events mainly aimed at raising young people’s awareness on civic commitment. Thus, the Press Section also provides media supports in the form of TV and radio programs and the publication of articles in the written and online press, promoting ideas from the youth so that these latter’s voices can be heard and taken into account by leaders and the society alike. In addition, the Press Section regularly broadcasts various useful information and articles meant for young people.
The Press Section also organizes reporting contest and training for professional journalists to update their skills and to promote free and responsible press. This training includes workshops conducted by Malagasy or American experts, training or placement abroad, and English courses. A monthly brunch is organized to allow chief editors to gather and talk about press issues; weekly Friday Talks offer opportunity for journalists to exchange and improve their command of English.
Through the Press Section the US Embassy has set up a Media Center – multimedia center and forum for journalists which is located in an environmental NGO – to promote environment protection and the free flow of information. Sessions of sharing among journalists are held no Wednesdays at 1100AM, especially after a trip abroad to help them enhance their skills. The Press Section also manages environmental campaign by using new technologies such as sms and social media.
Finally, Press Section is promoting social media and other new technologies as a prior-way to communicate with the public. The Section is then in charge of the U.S. Mission website (https://mg.usembassy.gov/), the Facebook, TWITTER and YOUTUBE pages which provide news about the U.S. Mission in Madagascar, its activities, and also about the U.S. Foreign Policy in general and the U.S. Policy in Africa in particular.