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The World Press Institute (WPI) to host 2008 fellowship program

This August, the World Press Institute (WPI) will resume operations and host its annual fellowship program for mid-career international journalists. Founded in 1961 as an independent, nonprofit corporation and based at Macalester College in St. Paul until last year, WPI brings a group of international journalists to the United States every summer to study, travel and meet officials of public and private institutions and to learn about the role and responsibilities of a free press.

Nearly 500 journalists from 94 countries have participated in the program during its 47 years of existence. The program was suspended last year because of a funding shortfall and Macalester College’s decision to cut its ties with WPI to focus on its main mission as a liberal arts college. Negotiations between WPI and Macalester resulted in the transfer of a substantial endowment for WPI’s benefit to The Saint Paul Foundation.

The WPI Board of Directors has appointed David McDonald, a Minneapolis attorney who has hosted journalists from the fellowship program for more than 20 years, as the new executive director of WPI. “WPI has been an amazing experience for the many international journalists whom I have had the privilege to get to know over the past 20 years,” said McDonald. “I believe that the program is as important today as it was when it was founded almost 50 years ago, both for enabling a deeper understanding of America around the world but also for what we, as Americans, can learn from these visiting journalists.”

The 2008 fellowship program will begin in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul in mid-August and will last approximately eight weeks. The participating journalists will cover the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, spend a month traveling to four major U.S. cities, and return to the Twin Cities for a final stay in mid-October. The University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Journalism Center will continue to host the participating journalists for several programs on campus during their Twin Cities stay. For more information visit