News 1999-2000 Academic Year


World Free Press Institute Founders Visit Cox Center and Grady College

Clayton Haswell and Ed Johnson, who founded the World Free Press Institute (WFPI) in 1997, explained the operation of the Institute and discussed contemporary domestic and international journalism issues with faculty and students of the Henry W. Grady College of Journalism during their visit to the University of Georgia in August.

Haswell and Johnson also met with Cox Center Director Dr. Lee B. Becker and discussed ways in which the WFPI and the Cox Center could collaborate on programs in the future. The three agreed to give particular attention to the training needs of Eastern Africa, where the WFPI and the Cox Center have run recent programs for journalists and journalism educators.

Haswell and Johnson were invited to UGA and the Grady College by Dr. Tudor Vlad, visiting Scholar in the Cox Center. Dr. Vlad, who is chairman of the School of Journalism at Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj- Napoca, Romania, also is on the board of directors of the WFPI. He has been a Senior Fulbright Scholar in the Cox Center during the 1999-2000 academic year.

The World Free Press Institute is a California-based non-profit organization founded to improve, support and strengthen a free press around the world. WFPI offers training programs, on-site assistance, and expertise in media business and management issues. The Institute has provided extensive training programs in Belarus and East Africa and is working with the Network for the Defense of Independent Media in Africa to create a media training Center, to be based in Kenya.

The Cox Center completed a program at Unity College in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in February. The program was designed to assist Unity in the creation of a journalism program to serve the needs of that country for independent, well-trained journalists.

Haswell, Johnson, Vlad and Becker discussed upcoming programs of their organizations and ways in which WFPI and the Cox Center could work together in Africa as well as elsewhere in the world. The four agreed to continue discussions in the coming months about joint initiatives.

Haswell, who is the San Francisco-based chief of bureau for the Associated Press in Northern California and Northern Nevada, visited undergraduate journalism classes in ethics and introduction to the print media. Johnson, a retired senior editor of The New York Times Regional Newspaper Group now living in Gainesville, Florida, talked to students in a basic news writing and reporting class and in a class on newspaper management.

The pair also met with faculty from the Department of Journalism in the Grady College over lunch and discussed the work of the Institute.

Haswell and Johnson met in eastern Europe in 1996, where both were working on programs to assist the media with training needs. Out of that experience came the idea to create the WFPI.

Haswell is president of WFPI, while Johnson serves as executive director.

Doctoral Student George Daniels Participates in German Exchange

George Daniels, a doctoral student in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, joined 14 American journalists in Europe in June as part of a two-week exchange program sponsored by the RIAS Berlin Commission and the Radio Television News Directors Foundation, based in Washington.

The program included stops in Berlin, Hannover, Potsdam, Schwerin and Hamburg in Germany and a visit to Brussels, where the group visited the European Union and NATO.

The Exchange Program, called "Politics, Economics, and the Media in the Unified Germany," included a day at the Deutsche Bundestag (the German Parliament), private sessions with various American and German journalists working in Berlin, a tour of the World Exposition in Hannover, seminars on the inner- workings of the European Union and NATO, plus a day of meetings on the development of New Media in Germany and Europe. There were also trips to several German media outlets built into the schedule.

As part of the visit with government officials, Daniels and the other participants posed questions in off- the-record, background sessions. The German politicians discussed the recent campaign finance scandal involving former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, the future of the ruling coalition government and the high unemployment rate in Germany.

Daniels and the journalists were in Brussels for the European Union's international press briefing on the recent elections in Zimbabwe and the Human Genome Project.

New media executives in Hamburg talked about a new media initiative underway in Hamburg, which was partly responsible for the North German city's designation as a "Digital City." Executives at AOL Europe discussed the challenges of expansion in a country where millions of computer users are not connected to the Internet because of local telephone charges.

While in Hamburg, the participants in the exchange visited with the producers of Germany's highest rated television newscast, "Tagesschau," which draws an average audience of more than seven million nightly.

Daniels, who has worked as a television news producer, was the first UGA student to participate in the exchange program, which brought four German broadcast journalists to the University of Georgia campus for 10 days in October 1999. The program was organized at UGA by the James M. Cox Center and included visits by the four journalists to classes within the Grady College, a tour of CNN, and meetings with reporters and editors of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Daniels helped organize the Cox Center program.

The RIAS exchange program is now in its sixth year. This fall, the Cox Center will host another group of German journalists in Athens.

Cox Center Well Represented at AEJMC Meeting in Phoenix

Two faculty members and two former graduate students represented the Cox Center at the annual meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication in August in Phoenix.

Dr. Tudor Vlad, a visiting scholar in the Cox Center from Romania, and Dr. Lee B. Becker, Cox Center director, attended the conference of journalism and mass communication educators from across the United States August 9-12. Among other activities, the two discussed exchange activities with universities in Chile and Romania for the upcoming year.

In addition, Dr. Becker released results of the Annual Surveys of Journalism & Mass Communication (make this hot), housed in the Cox Center. The surveys track key labor market statistics for journalism and mass communication in the United States.

Dr. Wilson Lowrey, a graduate student in the Cox Center until the conference and now a member of the faculty of the Department of Communication at Mississippi State University, and Jeffrey Wilson, a graduate student in the Cox Center in 1999 and now an account associate at Carter Ryley Thomas Public Relations & Marketing Counsel, in Richmond, VA, also presented results of analysis of data from the Annual Surveys at the Phoenix meeting.

Evaluation Report Findings Presented at Singapore Meeting

Members of the Professional Education Section of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) heard a summary report of the Cox Center's evaluation of the Knight International Press Fellowship Program at a meeting in Singapore in July.

Cox Center Director Dr. Lee B. Becker outlined procedures used in the evaluation as well as key findings, focusing particularly on the impact of the Knight Program on journalism education in the countries it serves. The evaluation concluded that the Program, run by the International Center for Journalists in Washington, had impact on individuals who participated as well as on key institutions on the host countries.

Approximately 350 mass media and communication scholars representing more than 40 countries attended the four-day conference in Singapore. Topics covered ranged widely and included the role of the media in sport and recent findings of an international assessment of the impact of the Internet.

At the Professional Education Session in which the Knight Program evaluation was discussed, other papers dealt with the evolution of journalism education in eastern and central Europe since 1989 and in-house training programs used by German newspapers.

Following the IAMCR meeting, Cox Center Director Becker attended a meeting of jourNet, an association of universities, professional training institutions and media organizations that is developing an Internet-based resource for journalism training. The project is funded by UNESCO and based in Africa. Becker invited the group to link to materials on the web site of the Cox Center and expressed in interested in coordinating work of the Center with jourNet as it develops.

Dr. Becker also visited the offices of the Asian Media Information & Communication Center (AMICC) and of the School of Communication Studies at Nanyang Technological University. Dr. Becker explored ways of cooperating with AMICC and with faculty of the School of Communication on training programs and research projects in Asia. AMICC is housed in the School of Communication Studies at NTU.

Journalism Educator from PNG Visits Cox Center and Grady College

Kevin Pamba, a journalism lecturer at Divine Word University in Madang, Papua New Guinea, and a newspaper columnist in that country, visited the University of Georgia in July to meet with faculty and students of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication and discuss collaboration between his university and the Cox Center.

Pamba is former business editor of The National, published in Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea. He did graduate work in international communications at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, before assuming the position of lecturer at Divine Word University, where he teaches basic journalism classes.

During his one-day stay at the University of Georgia, Pamba toured the College of Journalism facilities and the campus and met with students in a journalism editing class, where he discussed his editing experiences in PNG.

Pamba and Cox Center Director Dr. Lee B. Becker agreed to continue discussion of ways in which Divine Word and the Cox Center could collaborate on training activities in the future

Pamba's visit was sponsored by the U.S. State Department and coordinated in Georgia by the Georgia Council for International Visitors. Prior to the stop in Georgia, Pampa was in New York and Washington. He was to visit Florida, Iowa, South Dakota and California before returning to Divine Word.

Dutch Scholar Studies International Trade During Two-Month Visit to Cox Center

Florann Arts, a doctoral student in the Amsterdam School of Communication Research at the University of Amsterdam, is analyzing the way American newspapers cover international trade issues and doing interviews with U.S. business leaders involved in international trade during a two-month stay at the Cox Center that began in June.

The research focuses on the media's role in international trade and involves analysis of newspaper content and interviews with business leaders in Japan, The Netherlands and the United States. It is part of an on-going research project involving the media and international trade issues at the Cox Center.

"The mass media may play a significant role in international trade affairs," Arts said. "Yet the use that top executives in a commercial environment make of the mass media and the influence that media coverage of international trade has on them has not been fully investigated."

Arts worked as an export manager of a German food company prior to returning to the University of Amsterdam to do her doctoral studies. She conducted research on communication within a Dutch telecommunications firm as part of her graduate studies in Business Communications at the Catholic University in Nijmegen in The Netherlands.

Five Journalists from Kosovo Meet with Students, Faculty

The journalists arrived on the University of Georgia campus wanting an audience interested in their stories, and they found one.

Five journalists from Kosovo, each with vivid memories of experiences before and after the war between the Serbian and Albanian-speaking communities, met graduate students and faculty during a one-day visit to the University of Georgia campus in early June. The journalists were hosted by the Cox Center.

Ms. Sanije Gashi, editor-in-chief of Teuta magazine, told the graduate students that she was arrested twice in January of 1992 for writing about the desire of the Albanian-speaking peoples to use their own language. "I mention this just to show you how bad it was to be a journalist in Kosovo," she said.

During the war, Ms. Gashi said, she personally witnessed women being taken from the lines of refugees fleeing the country and being raped in front of their families. "This is the painful story of the Kosovo women," she said. "That is where I'd like to end my comments."

"During the war I remained in Pristina," said Dr. Shyqri Galica, a journalist with Rilindja daily. "I went through some very rough times. What is important is that I'm alive today. That is all I want to say about that."

"I could tell you this," said Ms. Nafije Latifi, senior editor of Kosovorja magazine. "You would consider yourself lucky if you died by a bullet."

Zenun Celaj said he spent 60 days hiding in the Home of a friend during the war so the police would not find him. "Should this happen again," he said, "I would prefer to be dead or get out rather than stay in Kosovo."

Shefki Ukaj, an editor in the Kosovo Press Center, which, he said, was destroyed by the Serbs when the war started, said he has witnessed people being sentenced to 12 years in jail for saying two words: "Kosovo Republic."

The effects on the 15 graduate students gathered was clear. Grady doctoral student George Daniels said: "When we go to journalism school we do not expect journalism to be a dangerous business. The lesson I learned today is that this isn't true all over the world."

"We are lucky people to not feel a danger when we practice journalism," said Todd Fraley, a Grady graduate student working in the Cox Center and the organizer of the session. "We need to realize how lucky we are."

The journalists asked the graduate students about their programs of study, why they chose the University of Georgia, and what kinds of job prospects they expected to have once they completed their studies.

The five journalists were traveling for three weeks in the United States under the auspices of the U.S. State Department. Their four-day visit to Georgia was organized by the Georgia Council for International Visitors.

In addition to meeting with the graduate students, the five journalists and their two accompanying translators had lunch with faculty teaching print and broadcast journalism in the Grady College and were given a brief overview of journalism education in the Grady College by Cox Center Director Dr. Lee B. Becker. They also toured the journalism building and the University of Georgia campus.

Cox Center Director Attends Meeting of Center for Global Media Studies

Members of the Executive Board of the Center for Global Media Studies, including Cox Center Director Dr. Lee B. Becker, discussed plans for the one and a half year old organization at a meeting in Acapulco, Mexico, in early June.

Dr. David Demers, president and executive director of the Center, said he wants the Global Media Studies Center to "disseminate information about global media systems as well as conduct original research on global media systems." Demers is a professor in the Edward R. Murrow School of Communications at Washington State University, in Pullman, Washington, and founder of the Center.

Demers proposed to the Executive Board that the Center organize a conference in the next year or two focusing on some aspect of the globalization of the media. Board members discussed a number of options for such a meeting and recommended that Demers explore them and report back to the Board.

The Center for Global Media Studies is housed in the School of Communication at Washington State. Among its activities is publication of a newsletter, Global Media News.

The Acapulco meeting was the first ever of the Executive Board. Demers invited Cox Center Director Becker to serve on the board when the board was created nearly two years ago.

The Executive Board met during the annual convention of the International Communication Association, an organization of communication scholars from around the world.

Chilean Journalists and Journalism Educators Participate in Cox Center Workshop

In a workshop in Concepción in May, faculty from the Catholic University of Chile and the University of Georgia encouraged 30 Chilean journalists and journalism educators to accept and even embrace change.

Change in media organizations today is inevitable, the Chilean and U.S. educators said. They provided tips on how to manage change, how to develop leadership in organizations that is creative and facilitative, and how to manage conflict.

The three-day workshop was sponsored by the Center for the Study of the Press in the School of Journalism at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and the Cox Center. It was held at the El Sur newspaper in Concepción and attended by journalists at that paper, its sister paper, Crónica, Diario el Centro in Talca, and faculty members at four different universities in the region.
Dr. Melinda Hawley, director of public service and outreach at the Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia, and Dr. C. Ann Hollifield, a professor in the Department of Telecommunication, also participated.

Read full article.

Jamaican Scholar Gives Lecture to Grady Graduate Students

"I got involved in research on media and women quite by chance," Drs. Marjan de Bruin, a senior lecturer at the Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication (CARIMAC) told University of Georgia graduate students in April.

That initial "chance" encounter with gender issues led to research focused largely on the number of women in media organizations, but it has grown into a program of scholarship looking at professional identity, organizational identity and gender identity.

De Bruin outlined that program of research for the graduate students attending the lecture, organized by the Graduate Caucus of the Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication and sponsored by the Cox Center. De Bruin was the third international scholar in as many years brought to the UGA campus by the Cox Center exclusively to give a lecture to the Graduate Caucus–the organization of Grady graduate students.

The circumstances that led de Bruin to begin research on women in the media were simple enough. An editor of a book contacted her and asked her to fill in for another person who had promised to do a book on women in the media but could not meet the obligation.

"The major reason for my initial research was the question of equity," de Bruin said. "But I became interested in understanding if women make a difference. Counting women and men is only the beginning."

De Bruin said her current goal is to understand organizational, professional and gender identity. She defines professional identity as the "shared understanding of the work of a specific organization," while professional identity is not linked to any organization but is focused on "an imaginary community that stretches across organizations."

Gender identity is the hardest of the three to define, de Bruin said. "I don't have it clear in my head yet. It has to do with a sense of self as a man or a woman, but there is more to it than that. Gender is a social practice."

De Bruin joined CARIMAC in 1987, following a career as a social worker, family therapist and journalist. CARIMAC is a unit of the University of the West Indies (UWI) and offers degree and diploma programs in journalism. De Bruin is based on the Kingston campus of UWI.

While at the University of Georgia, de Bruin also met with faculty in the Grady College and discussed possible future collaborative research and training projects with the Cox Center.

In academic year 1997-98, Prof. Klaus Schoenbach, currently at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, gave a lecture to the Graduate Caucus with support of the Cox Center. In academic year 1998-99, Prof. Youichi Ito from Keio University in Toyko, Japan, delivered the Cox Center-sponsored lecture to the Graduate Caucus.

Cox Center Director Recognized by Graduate Students

Dr. Lee B. Becker, Cox Center Director, received the 1999-2000 Roland Page Award from the graduate students in the Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication in a small ceremony in the College in April. The Page Award, in honor of a former faculty member of the Grady College, is announced each year by the Grady Graduate Caucus after voting by graduate students in the College. The Award honors graduate teaching. Jeffery Wilson and Hanna Norton, Caucus Co-Presidents, announced and presented the award.

Center Research Assistant Selected Outstanding Graduate Student

Wilson Lowrey, a research assistant in the Cox Center, received the Outstanding Graduate Student Award at the Journalism Alumni Awards Luncheon in April. Lowrey was selected by the Alumni Association of the Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication to receive the Award. It was the second Award Lowrey received this year. Earlier in the year he received an Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award from the University of Georgia. The award reflects a top ten percent ranking for teaching effectiveness among all teaching assistants at the University and was for teaching Lowrey did before becoming a research assistant in the Cox Center.

Miami Foundation Extends ICFJ Program Following Evaluation Project by Cox Center

Based in part on research conducted by the Cox Center, a foundation in Miami has renewed a major training grant for the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) in Washington, D.C.

The research showed that the Knight International Press Fellowship Program operated by ICFJ was favorably received and evaluated by journalists and others who participated in the training activities. The Cox Center conducted interviews with 531 individuals in 11 countries in 1999 as part of the project.

The John S and James L. Knight Foundation announced in Washington on April 12 that it will give ICFJ $9 million to continue the fellowship program over the next five years. The Knight Foundation has funded the training initiative by ICFJ since its initiation in 1993.

Hodding Carter III, president and CEO of the Knight Foundation, acknowledged the importance of the Cox Center evaluation in reaching the decision to continue funding for the program. Dr. Becker attended the dinner at the Hotel Washington, where Carter announced the grant.

Each year the Knight International Press Fellowship Program sponsors journalists from the United States who work in partnership with institutions in emerging democracies to offer journalism training.

The Cox Center report concludes that the evidence of impact of the Knight Fellows was "unambiguous." In the executive summary to the full 113-page report, Dr. Becker wrote: "The recipients of the training offered by the Knight Fellows gave evidence of impact by word, action and concrete example. There is evidence as well that the Fellows changed key organizations in those countries in ways that serve journalism practice there."

The Cox Center, in collaboration with ICFJ and at the request of the Knight Foundation, began the year-long assessment of the impact of the ICFJ program in the Autumn of 1998.

To obtain reports of impact from those with whom the Knight Fellow worked, Dr. Becker and two colleagues attempted to find as many of those who worked with the Knight Fellows in 11 different countries as possible and to conduct interviews with them. The 11 countries studied were the Czech Republic, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru.

Dr. Patricia Priest and Dr. Melinda Hawley assisted in the evaluation project. Dr. Priest was a postdoctoral fellow in the Cox Center at the time of the project. Dr. Hawley is a public service associate in the Grady College and associate director of the James M. Cox Jr. Institute for Newspaper Management Studies, the domestic sister organization of the Cox.

The researchers used two interview techniques. First, they asked those they contacted to complete a written questionnaire, generally with one of the researchers in close proximity. Next, they asked most of those they contacted to answer follow-up questions. The first questionnaire contained clusters of items designed to measure the perceived impact of the interaction with the Knight Fellow. The interview included a variety of questions designed to obtain both discrete indications of impact and examples of that impact.

The researchers interviewed at least 31 people in each of the 11 countries they visited. The smallest number of interviews completed was in Poland, where they successfully contacted and interviewed 31 persons who had worked with the Knight Fellows there. They completed 92 interviews in Ecuador. In sum, they completed 531 interviews.

The project was designed to examine evidence of impact of the Knight International Press Fellowship Program on the journalists and on others in the country with whom the Knight Fellows came into contact, the practice of journalism in the countries visited by the Knight Fellows, the media and media-related institutions in the countries visited by the Knight Fellows and the countries themselves.

"The outcome could have been different," Cox Center Director Becker said. "We made no assumptions at the beginning that we would be told positive things about the program or that we would find other evidence of its effectiveness. Clearly the Knight Foundation was prepared to receive a negative report, had the data justified it. Not every Fellow was effective in all circumstances, but the overwhelming weight of the evidence is that this program made a difference in the 11 countries we examined."

Dr. Becker said the evaluation project was "a very important undertaking for the Cox Center. It gave us the opportunity to look at the effectiveness of an important international exchange program as a way of gaining insight generally into the effectiveness of the training of journalists abroad. The findings will help not only the Knight Foundation and ICFJ, but all of us who engage in these types of initiatives."

Three Uzbek Broadcast Journalists Learn about Journalism Education

Three television station directors from Uzbekistan got a close-up view of how U.S. journalism students learn to be broadcast journalists as they observed University of Georgia students produce an evening television cable news program in March.

The production of the newscast came at the end of a day visiting the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. The visit was organized by the Cox Center; the visitors were traveling as part of a U.S. State Department program.

The visitors were: Shuhrat Rajabovich Bobojonov, director of an independent television station in Urgench, Tamara; Vasilievna Prokopieva, director of an independent radio and television station in Yangiabad; and Agram Karimovich Usmanov, director of an independent television station in Gulistan.

The three were given an overview of journalism education in the United States by Cox Center Direcor Lee B. Becker, toured the facilities of the Grady College and the campus, and had lunch with broadcast journalism faculty members.

In addition, the station directors attended a class on telecommunications programming and management where presentations were made by representatives of local cable and radio broadcasting companies.

The Georgia part of the U.S. tour by the three Uzbek journalists was organized by the Georgia Council for International Visitors.

RIAS Leader Visits Center

Rainer Hasters, executive director of the RIAS Berlin Kommission in Germany, toured the facilities of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, met with faculty and students, and discussed future collaboration between RIAS and the Cox Center during a two-day visit to the University of Georgia in late February.

During the stay Hasters met with Grady graduate student George Daniels and discussed Daniels' interest in visiting Germany as part of the ongoing German-American exchange program for broadcast journalists sponsored by RIAS. Daniels, who has since been selected to spend two weeks in Germany in the summer of 2000, also has worked as a television news producer.

Hasters and Cox Center Director Dr. Lee B. Becker reviewed the activities of the four journalists who visited the Grady College in the autumn of 1999 as part of the RIAS exchange and discussed plans for the autumn of 2000, when the Cox Center will host another group of German broadcast journalists as part of the RIAS exchange.

Collaboration with Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico Discussed

Alexis Molinares, director of Programs and Properties for The Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico and Cox Center Director Dr. Lee B. Becker agreed during a meeting in San Juan in early April to explore the possibility of collaborating on an environmental journalism training workshop in late 2000 or the first half of 2001.

The Conservation Trust, a private, non-profit institution founded in 1970, has conducted workshops for journalists in most years in the last 10-year period. It works closely with professional journalism organizations on the island to provide intensive workshops focusing on particular environmental issues facing the U.S. Commonwealth.

"The Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico has developed significant expertise in working with journalists in Puerto Rico in this important area of environmental journalism," Dr. Becker said. "I'm pleased we had this chance to talk with Mr. Molinares and I'm hopeful we can work with him and others at the Trust in the future."

The Cox Center conducted a workshop in Quito, Ecuador, in December of 1998 focusing on the problems facing journalists and scientists as they try to communicate to the public about environmental issues, particularly those associated with development.

Center Research Assistant Gets Teaching Award

Wilson Lowrey, a research assistant in the Cox Center, has received an Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award from the University of Georgia. The award reflects a top ten percent ranking for teaching effectiveness among all teaching assistants at the University.

The recognition is for teaching Lowrey did before becoming a research assistant in the Cox Center.

In 1998 Lowrey created and taught a new course for the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication in the area of information graphics and news design. He also taught courses in Beginning Editing and Advanced Newspaper Editing for the College.

In his capacity as research assistant, Lowrey is contributing to various activities of the Center. He served as an instructor in a workshop the Center conducted in Fiji in October of 1999, has redesigned sections of the Center's web pages, and conducted an evaluation of past Center workshops.

Ethiopian Journalism Educators Participate in Cox Center Workshop

Members of the core group involved in creating a new journalism program at Unity College in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, plus other faculty members at the private Ethiopian college, participated in the workshop in February that emphasized a student-centered approach to journalism education.

Among the topics covered by the workshop were how to develop a syllabus, how to give students feedback on their written assignments, how to stimulate discussion in large lecture classes and how to grade student performance.

Dr. Elizabeth Lester Roushanzamir of the Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia and Dr. David Boeyink of the School of Journalism at Indiana University served as discussion leaders for the workshop. Cox Center Director Dr. Lee B. Becker also participated in the workshop.

Read full article.

Argentinian Journalist Completes Stay

Cristina Matta, an award-winning journalist from Argentina, completed a four-week stay at the Cox Center in February as part of an international exchange program sponsored by the Argentinian government and the School of Music at the University of Georgia.

During her visit, Matta toured the facilities of the Grady College, attended classes and lectures, met with students and faculty, and visited The Atlanta Journal Constitution and CNN. She learned how journalists are trained in the United States and observed media professionals on the job.

Matta also participated in the international symposium, "Globalization and Cultural Preservation in Latin America," organized by the Center for the Humanities and Arts at the University of Georgia and held in early February.

Matta is a cultural journalist working in a variety of media in Chaco, Argentina. She is the Theater and Cultural critic for Diario Norte and reporter on theater events for Revista Magazin. She also is an anchor for a daily television news program and for a weekly program on radio.

Matta has published three books and has won several awards, including the Media of Honor for the National Academy of History and the Felix Roberto Wandelow Award for journalism.

"It was an absolute pleasure to have Cristina Matta with us in the Center," Cox Center Director Lee B. Becker said. "She gave us new insights into journalism in her country. Her enthusiasm for her work also was contagious."

Cox Center Director Gives Lectures in Lugano

Fifty-two students from the communication science program at the Italian Language University of Switzerland in Lugano participated in a two-week program of lectures offered by Cox Center Director Dr. Lee B. Becker in late January and early February.

The lectures focused on journalism as practiced in the United States and other English speaking countries, including Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and the U.K. Students were given broad overviews of the media systems of those countries, with particular focus on the way in which journalism contributes to the broader media offerings.

The lectures also covered the laws affecting the practice of journalism in the selected countries, journalism education in the English speaking countries, and the relationship between the press and government in those settings.

The lecture block is part of a larger offering on journalism as practiced in parts of the world at the Swiss University, which is the only Italian language university in Switzerland. Other parts of the program covered journalism as practiced in France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland itself.

The newly formed University in Lugano offers courses in three areas: architecture, communication science and management. Within communication science, students can specialize in mass media, economics and media management, and communication technology.

Prof. Becker also contributed the lecture segment on journalism in the English speaking countries in the 1998-99 academic year.

Director Emeritus Hester Contributes to Book

Cox Center Director Emeritus Al Hester collaborated with his wife, Conoly Hester, on a book about Athens, Home of the University of Georgia, that was published by Community Communications of Montgomery, AL, at the end of 1999.

Dr. Hester contributed profiles of Athens area corporations to the book, written by his wife and featuring the photography of Terry Allen. The book is titled: Athens, Georgia: Celebrating 2000 Years at the Millennium.

Dr. Hester stepped down as director of the Cox Center in 1997, when he retired from the University after leading the Center for eight years and teaching journalism for 25 years. Dr. Hester is working in Athens as a freelance journalist.

Bulgarian Media Center Director Visits UGA

Petko Georgiev, resident adviser to ProMedia in Sophia, Bulgaria, visited the University of Georgia as a guest of the Cox Center in November to learn about the programs of the Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, including the outreach activities of the Cox Center.

Georgiev worked in Bulgarian radio and television in numerous positions and served as syndicated newspaper columnist before taking over as head of The Professional Media Program in Sophia. ProMedia, a journalism training center, operates under the auspices of IREX, the International Research & Exchange Board of Washington.

Georgiev toured the facilities of the Grady College, focusing particularly on those of the Department of Telecommunications. He also met with Peabody Awards Director Dr. Barry Sherman and observed a programming and management class taught by Telecommunications faculty members Dr. Dwight Brooks and Dr. Ann Hollifield. Finally, he participated in a journalism class on newspaper management taught by Prof. Conrad Fink, director of the James M. Cox Jr. Institute for Newspaper Management Studies, the domestic counterpart to the Cox Center.

Dr. Tudor Vlad, a Fulbright Senior Scholar from Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, working in the Cox Center this year, and Cox Center Director Dr. Lee B. Becker, reviewed with Georgiev their work on a book on the economic implications of copyright.

Georgiev and Dr. Becker discussed the possibility of collaboration on training projects in Bulgaria in the future.

Slovenian Graduate Student Wins Award

Gregor Petric, a graduate student at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia, was selected winner of the student paper competition at the Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research (MAPOR) conference in Chicago in November.

Petric's paper, "Spiral of Silence Among Slovenian Citizens: Some Alternative Solutions," was selected from among 10 papers submitted by students. Petric was the only student not at a U.S. university who submitted a paper.

Cox Center Director Lee B. Becker organized the student paper competition, which was initiated in 1998. Judges for the competition were MAPOR Fellows, selected by the organization for their leadership in the field of public opinion research. Dr. Becker was selected a MAPOR Fellow in 1996.

Cox Center Participates in German Journalism Exchange

The Cox Center hosted four broadcast journalists from Germany in a 10-day program in late October and early November focusing on how journalism is taught in the United States.

The journalists were participants in an exchange program organized by the RIAS Berlin Commission and the Radio-Television News Directors Foundation (RTNDF). Thirteen journalists participated in the five-week study program that included a 10-day stay at radio and television stations, a 10-day university visit, a week in Washington and a week in New York.

Pacific Journalists Participate in Design Workshop

Eight Pacific Island journalists practiced page layout and graphic design as part of a workshop organized by the Pacific Island News Association and the Cox Center held Oct. 5-7 in Suva, Fiji Islands.

The workshop was attended by journalists from the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Tonga, and Vanuatu. The workshop was the fourth in as many years targeted toward indigenous language media in the Pacific and sponsored by PINA and the Cox Center.

Read full article.

Becker Presents Overview of U.S. Journalism Training

Cox Center Director Dr. Lee B. Becker outlined the challenges facing journalism education in the United States in a special session at the Pacific Islands News Association conference held Oct. 7 through Oct. 11 in Suva, Fiji Islands.

During the session on International Journalism Education and Training for the Multimedia Age, Dr. Becker gave an overview of journalism education in the United States and Europe. Dr. Richstad, an international journalism expert who has participated in many Cox Center activities in the Pacific, gave an overview of training in Asia and the Pacific region.

David Robie, coordinator and senior lecturer in journalism, outlined the program in journalism education at the University of the South Pacific, and Joe Weber from the faculty of Communication Arts at Divine Word University in Papua New Guinea provided an overview of journalism training at his institution.

Dr. Becker said journalism educators are faced with the challenge of including more content into the basic journalism curriculum to meet the changes in the media landscape without increased instructional time. Dr. Becker said educators must focus on the basics and teach students to become life-long learners and give students the skills to allow them to accomplish that goal.

Dr. Becker reviewed some of the key findings of the Annual Surveys of Journalism & Mass Communication, conducted in the Cox Center but funded separately from other Cox Center activities, as part of his presentation.

Cox Center Launches Assessment of Its Pacific Training Programs

Cox Center Director Dr. Lee B. Becker and Center researcher Wilson Lowrey in October interviewed journalists who had participated in Cox Center workshops in the Pacific in the past as part of an assessment of effectiveness of past programs and of programming needs of the region for the future.

Becker and Lowrey conducted the interviews in Suva, Fiji Islands, while attending the Pacific Islands News Association conference there. The Cox Center also ran a workshop for journalists working in the vernacular languages of the Pacific before the PINA conference, and Lowrey served as one of the workshop instructors.

In addition to the 1999 workshop, the Center conducted programs for indigenous language journalists in Tonga in 1996, Vanuatu in 1997, and in Fiji in 1998. The Center also ran workshops for Pacific Island journalists in 1991, 1992 and 1995 in Hawaii and in1993 in Fiji and 1994 in Samoa.

Becker and Lowrey interviewed five of the eight journalists from Fiji who had participated in the workshop the Center conducted there in 1998 and four journalists who had participated in earlier Cox Center workshops. Many of those interviewed were attending the PINA conference.

The interviews will be combined with data from evaluations conducted at the end of the 1998 and 1999 workshops, with information from interviews conducted with Pacific media experts at the PINA conference, and with data from other sources to help in the planning of future Center programming in the Pacific and elsewhere.

Romanian Fulbright Scholar Joins Cox Center

Dr. Tudor Vlad, a Fulbright Senior Scholar from Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, has set ambitious goals for his nine-month stay in the Cox Center.

Since the demand for public relations professionals is great in Romania, Dr. Vlad hopes to gain enough knowledge during his stay at the University of Georgia to start such a program within the journalism department at his Home university when he returns next year. Dr. Vlad is chair of the Department of Journalism at Babes-Bolyai, located in the Transylvania area of Romania.

Dr. Vlad also is editing a book on copyright law with Cox Center Director Dr. Lee B. Becker and writing a textbook on reporting techniques to accompany the one he wrote earlier on interview techniques. His students in Romania already are using his earlier book.

"Romania has a good labor market in communication," Dr. Vlad said in explaining his decision to focus on the development of a public relations program for his university. "Many private institutions, including banks and the government, are now realizing the importance of having a public spokesperson," Dr. Vlad said.

Dr. Vlad said his students do not have the training they need for these jobs, so he would like to develop a public relations module that can be used to give his students the necessary skills. To accomplish this, he will study the public relations courses offered in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia and learn how the college functions.

The book on copyright Dr. Vlad and Dr. Becker are editing is an outgrowth of an international conference on copyright organized by the two at Babes-Bolyai University in June of 1998.

Dr. Vlad studied Romanian language and literature at the university in Cluj-Napoca and at the University of Bucharest. He began his professional career as a prose writer, publishing his first fiction novel at age 22. Since then he has written three more novels.

After graduating from the university, he began working for Tribuna, a weekly cultural magazine. He serves as an assistant editor-in-chief at the magazine today.

Dr. Vlad's interest in journalism flourished in 1992 when the rector of Babes-Bolyai University approached him with the idea of establishing a journalism department. With limited assets and a spirit of determination, Dr. Vlad took on the challenge. In 1994, through financial support provided by the United States Information Agency, the curriculum was expanded to include broadcasting. Dr. Vlad relied on visiting American professors and outside assistance with textbooks and computer equipment to make the program work.

Dr. Vlad began a four-year study of the history of movies through the perspectives of Romanian journalists and obtained his doctorate in 1997. His research interests include studying the relationship between fiction and journalism.

Dr. Vlad first visited the United States in 1996 when he attended a conference in the School of Journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He remained at Chapel Hill for three months.

"I consider myself a lucky man. Both universities (UNC and UGA) are not only extraordinary because of the technical resources, but because of the people I have met. The faculty is very friendly and generous. They are patient and willing to communicate ideas with me and are not concerned so much how I express those ideas," he said.

Dr. Vlad's wife, Cornelia, and their 13-year-old daughter, Oana, have accompanied him on his trip to Georgia. His son, Ion, 20, is a student at the University of West Virginia at Morgantown where he is also studying journalism.

"We're extremely pleased to have Dr. Vlad here in the Cox Center this academic year," Dr. Becker said. "His presence is a wonderful consequence of our collaboration with Babes-Bolyai University in 1998 and should serve as a beginning point for future work by the Center in Romania."