The Foreign Press Centers organizes press tours around key policy themes, and aspects of American society, culture, and politics. Tours are designed for resident foreign media in the United States as well as select international journalists.
In March 2020, due to the circumstances of COVID-19, the Foreign Press Center suspended in-person programming and developed a model for virtual reporting tours, focused on U.S. foreign policy topics and U.S. culture and society. These tours provide foreign journalists with a series of live, on-the-record briefings with U.S. experts, as well as raw background footage and photographs of various communities in the United States.
- Twenty-six journalists visited the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building of the New York Public Library (NYPL) on a May 12, 2022 Foreign Press Center tour. The NYPL with 92 locations and 56 million items is the nation’s largest library system and the fourth largest in the world. The NYPL receives approximately 16 million visits through its doors annually and millions more around the globe who use its online resources. The president, Tony Marx, spoke to the group about the library’s extensive multilingual resources, including books in over sixty languages through its World Languages Collection; multilingual storytimes; ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages) and citizenship classes; and research materials representing other countries. Journalists also toured the Polonsky Exhibition of The New York Public Library’s Treasures, with Declan Kiely, the library’s Director of Special Collections and Exhibitions.
- In advance of Earth Day (themed Invest in Our Planet this year), the NY Foreign Press Center partnered with the Javits Center on April 11 to host a press tour for nine journalists. Alan Steel, President and CEO of the Javits Center, underscored the facility’s commitment to sustainability in his welcoming remarks. Jacqueline Tran, the center’s energy and sustainability director, then led media to the rooftop to view the new $1.5 billion expansion project which includes a one-acre working farm, orchard, and pollinator garden. The expansion project also includes the installation of 3,000 solar panels, making the rooftop solar farm the largest in Manhattan upon completion. The project achieved a LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council in 2021. The tour included the 6.75-acre green roof which absorbs up to seven million gallons of storm water run-off annually and reduces heat gain throughout the building. Outlets based in Brazil, Finland, Japan, Germany, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom sent their NY-based reporters to cover the sustainability upgrades at the Javits.
- Reporting Tour on the Foreign correspondents from seven leading financial and economic news outlets in Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Hong Kong, and the UK participated in a two-day FPC reporting tour to Pittsburgh, PA to cover the Inaugural U.S.-EU Trade and Technology CouncilMeeting from September 29-30. The participants covered remarks by EU and U.S. officials and participated in a press gaggle with Secretary Blinken.
- Virtual Reporting Tour on “Combatting the Climate Crisis through U.S. Innovation,” May 10-28, 2021. Fifty journalists from all regions participated in virtual briefings from Washington DC, Detroit, MI, and Denver, CO. Briefers from the U.S. government, the private sector, NGOs, and others discussed foreign policy priorities on the climate crisis, with a focus on emissions, renewable energy, and U.S.-led research and innovation.
- Virtual Reporting Tour on “U.S. 2020 Elections” in the fall of 2020, engaged 181 journalists from 94 countries to participate in virtual on-the-record briefings about the U.S. electoral process from Washington, DC, North Carolina, Florida, Texas, Colorado, and Michigan. This program allowed journalists, unable to travel to the United States, the ability to report and explain the U.S. electoral system of government in the run up to the 2020 U.S. presidential elections to international audiences.