Raise Your Voice U.S. Embassy Announces visit of Photojournalist Bill Gentile

The U.S. Embassy is pleased to announce the visit of expert journalist Bill Gentile to Suriname May 5 – 9, 2014.  Bill Gentile is an independent journalist and documentary filmmaker teaching at American University in Washington, DC.  His career spans three decades, five continents and nearly every facet of journalism and mass communication, most especially visual communication, or visual storytelling.

The U.S. Embassy invited him in honor of World Press Freedom May 3.  Commemorated annually every May 3, World Press Freedom Day recognizes the essential role a free press plays in a democracy. But conventional definitions of “the press” are expanding to include not only new platforms but also new voices.  New technology facilitates the average citizen’s contribution to reporting on news around him or her and allows information to be accessed more freely.

During his visit, Mr. Gentile will conduct workshops and lectures with journalists, photographers, students, civil society and the general public. Topics will include citizen journalism, telling your story, ethics in journalism and freedom of the press and freedom of expression.

Freedom of speech and expression, especially about political and other public issues, is the lifeblood of any democracy. Through Mr. Gentile’s visit, we hope to encourage freedom of expression and to raise public awareness about the benefits for society at large when freedom of the press and freedom of speech are protected.

The Embassy also launched a photo and video contest in honor of Mr. Gentile’s visit.  Amateur photographers, students, and the general public of all age are invited to submit a digital photo or two to three minute video reflecting the theme: Swit’ Sranan. The deadline for submissions is May 5, 2014.  The winner will receive a brand-new, Canon Vixia HFM52 camcorder.  Details about the contest are available on the U.S. Embassy Paramaribo Facebook page.