The State Department has announced a new program that will invite up to 100 foreign journalists to study at U.S. journalism schools and visit American news media organizations.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Tuesday said the program emphasizes underlying principles of journalism such as integrity and courage that make it a crucial element of any democracy.

Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Karen Hughes says the program is an example of the department's efforts to make exchange programs more strategic, focusing on people with wide influence.

Under the "Edward R. Murrow Journalism Fellows Program," named after the famous American news broadcaster and former head of the U.S. Information Agency, fellows will attend classes at one of six American journalism schools, visit American news organizations and participate in a symposium on issues facing the news media.

The first group of fellows is expected to start the three to four week program in April 2006.