Arab Media Specialists Learn about Media Education in the United States and at the University of Georgia

Thirteen media professionals and representatives of government communications from north Africa and the Middle East toured the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication August 21 and participated in a presentation and discussion about mass media education in the United States.

The delegation, traveling under the auspices of the U.S. Department of State, was in Georgia for a week and Athens for part of a day. The theme of the tour was: "Media and Politics: Creating a Viable Synergy." The visit to the University of Georgia was organized by the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research.

Cox Center Director Dr. Lee B. Becker and Visiting Research Scientist Dr. Tudor Vlad provided an overview of the history and characteristics of the University of Georgia, the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, and the Cox Center. The Cox Center is a unit of the Grady College.

During the exchange on journalism and mass media education, Drs. Becker and Vlad shared the latest data available on enrollments in journalism and mass communication around the country and on employment of graduates of these programs. This material, derived from the Annual Surveys of Journalism & Mass Communication, which are conducted in the Cox Center, had been presented in Washington to the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications annual conference in early August.

Visiting delegates posed questions about university curriculum needed to prepare students for employment in print and broadcast media and in government communications and public relations. Dr. Vlad shared insights from his own experience in Romania about the importance of university programs to develop professionalism and ethics. Dr. Vlad also stressed the importance of media coverage of diversity issues and the critical need to separate fact from opinion.

Following the presentation by Drs. Becker and Vlad, Grady College Business Manager Susan Gabriel took the visitors on a tour of the College and its facilities. Dr. Kent Middleton, Journalism Department Head, and Dr. Ann Hollifield, assistant professor of Telecommunications, joined the delegation for lunch.

The delegation included government and ministry spokesmen from Bahrain, Gaza, Kuwait, and Yemen. Media executives and reporters represented Algeria, Gaza, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.

The visit to the Cox Center was arranged by the Georgia Council for International Visitors.