Foreign journalists visit make Ely unique

This year’s journalists come from Australia, Bulgaria, Denmark, India, The Netherlands, Pakistan, Russia, South Africa and Venezuela.

An event Monday is a perfect example of what makes Ely a unique place to live.
Nine journalists from around the world will gather here to talk about a host of issues during a public forum that starts at 9 a.m.
Part of the World Press Institute Fellows Program, Ely’s stop is right at the beginning of a two-month tour of the United States.
Other stops include Minneapolis, MN; Washington, D.C.; New York City, NY; Miami, FL; Atlanta, GA; Austin, TX; San Francisco Bay, CA, Seattle, WA and Chicago, IL.
As you can plainly see, Ely fits right in.
This year’s journalists come from Australia, Bulgaria, Denmark, India, The Netherlands, Pakistan, Russia, South Africa and Venezuela.
The Ely Echo is proud to sponsor Monday’s event. Our editor, Tom Coombe, will moderate the discussion which can range from U.S. culture to war in the Middle East to how cell phones have changed the way people see the world around them.
That the journalists come to Ely is a testament to the people here. If a slice of Americana is what the World Press Institute is looking for, we serve it here every day.
For two days our visitors from across the globe will stay with Ely host families in their homes. From two different countries and cultures, bread will be broken, ideas exchanged and education provided.
Here’s an entry from a blog by Veronica Narkwor Kwabla of Ghana, one of last year’s participants: “Anne and Tom both of the Ely newspaper did a good job. We ask the questions, this time it was the other way round. The senior citizens of Ely graced the forum in their numbers. The first question in the second session really surprised me and I am still thinking of an answer two days after. Who would you say is the world’s most trusted leader?”
Kwabla’s post was revealing, including this:  “Our trip ended with a canoe ride on Farm Lake at Camp Voyageur. Two nights in Ely and it felt more than home.”
The journalists have been coming to Ely since the 1990s, taking what they see, hear and experience back to whatever distant land they travelled from.
Whether you serve as a host family or just come down Monday to listen and perhaps ask a question, think about this. How lucky are we to have a program like this come to town for the past 20+ years?
High school and college students are of course invited and will observe and connect with people closer to their age than the “senior citizens” who normally attend. No offense.
There is no charge to attend Monday’s event, although a $15 fee will be assessed to those who purchase lunch. Lunch tickets may be purchased at the door.