New Cox Scholar, family find resources abundant at University of Georgia

The Alvarez family of Argentina-- a family of journalists--has been taking advantage since early January of resources of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia, where father Jorge Alvarez is a Cox Center Visiting International Scholar.

Alvarez is on leave from his position in Santa Fe, Argentina, where he produces and is news anchor for Channel 13. Alvarez has been a producer, director and reporter for the Channel 13 documentary "The Earth and Its People" since 1978.

Wife Ivonne Alvarez, a native of Venezuela, also is a journalist. She is assistant of production for "The Earth and Its People." She also is a specialist in aboriginal issues and serves as director of the Aboriginal Museum in Santa Fe.

Daughter Michelle, 21, works with Jorge and Ivonne on research for the "The Earth and Its People." She is studying journalism in Argentina as well.

Son Julian, 19, is Alvarez' second cameraman and audio assistant. Another son, Martin, 23, works as first cameraman and editor for the documentary program. Martin has remained behind in Buenos Aires, where he is studying cinema.

Only daughter Romina, 17, who has accompanied the other family members to Georgia, has not yet been bitten by the journalism bug.

Alvarez is studying changes in the media as the century comes to an end. "Other long-term interests of ours concern the future of the American native cultures and the future reality of Latin America," Alvarez said. "We also are interested in American culture and American thought especially in terms of who decides and produces materials for the mass media.

Alvarez has visited the archives of the Peabody Awards, located in the University of Georgia Library, and is interested in using those archives to examine how television covered major issues in American society. The Peabody Awards are administered by the Department of Telecommunications in the Grady College.

Alvarez has filmed in Brazil, Spain, Italy, Germany, Sweden, the U.S., Kuwait, Vietnam and Egypt, as well as Argentina, for this documentary program, which has won more than 50 awards.

In addition to his television work, Alvarez serves as a correspondent for The Province, an Argentinean newspaper, and has worked as advertising and press director for the political campaign of Carlos Reutemann. When Reutemann was elected governor of the province of Santa Fe, Alvarez became the governor's press secretary and spokesman.

Alvarez also is an adjunct professor at the Universidad Adventista del Plata in Entre Rios Province in Argentina.

"It is an absolute delight to have Jorge Alvarez and his family here at the Grady College," Cox Center Director Lee B. Becker said. Among other things, Alvarez can advise the Cox Center on future programs in Latin America, Becker added.

"The presence of someone with Jorge's credentials here in the Grady College is extremely valuable to the students and faculty," Becker said. "This is a special opportunity for all of us and a benefit of having the Cox Center here in the College."

Alvarez family members are taking advantage of a variety of opportunities to improve their English skills, learn about the University, and become familiar with the culture of Athens. Several members of the family are enrolled in formal English language instruction around the community.

Alvarez will remain at the Cox Center until the end of the calendar year.