Lee Becker, Yuanxin Dai, Zhang Liang, and Kent Middleton (left to right, front) and Tudor Vlad and Hugh Martin (rear).

Chinese Magazine Editor Discusses Copyright and Other Issues with Faculty

Zhang Liang, deputy general editor of Nanfengchuang magazine in Guangzhou, China, exchanged ideas on topics ranging from copyright to editor's reactions to journalism education in a one-day visit to the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia in August.

Zhang said journalists in China are less concerned that copyright be respected than that those who use their materials do so without changing the meaning of the piece. Verbatim copying is common, he said, and is preferred because the alternative is manipulation to suit political aims of the editors.

Editors in China today do not evaluate university journalism education very highly, Zhang said. They think it is better to hire graduates with degrees in economics or political science and train the graduates to work in journalism.

Dr. Kent Middleton, head of the Department of Journalism in the Grady College, told Zhang that copyright issues are much discussed in journalism circles in the U.S. today and that journalists are particularly concerned that they receive adequate compensation for their work when it is included in electronic archives and data files.

Dr. Middleton noted one important reason why journalism graduates, at least in the U.S., may be preferable to graduates with other university majors. "They learn about journalism ethics," he said. Graduates of other programs do not get this as part of their education, he added. Dr. Middleton also said that many journalism graduates in the U.S. have a second major in a field such as history, English, economics or political science.

Zhang's visit to the University of Georgia was organized by the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research, a unit of the Grady College at the University of Georgia. Zhang was traveling in the United States for a month under the auspices of the State Department's International Visitor Program.

In addition to his visit to Atlanta and Athens, he visited Washington, New York city, Columbus, Ohio, Dallas, Texas, and San Diego and Los Angeles in California. His visit in Georgia was organized by the Georgia Council for International Visitors and included stops at the Carter Center and CNN.

Nanfengchuang is a nationally distributed political and economic biweekly magazine in China that focuses on political and economic issues. While in the U.S., Zhang focused on the role of the media in the U.S. society.

Zhang began his visit to the Grady College in the Cox Center, where Cox Center Director Dr. Lee B. Becker and Assistant Director Dr. Tudor Vlad discussed journalism education in the United States and reviewed the research carried out in the Center on the journalistic labor force in the United States. The Annual Surveys of Journalism & Mass Communication, which monitor key labor force statistics, are housed in the Cox Center.

Ms. Yuanxan Dai, a visiting scholar in the Cox Center from Yunnan Province, China, also joined in the discussions.

Zhang visited with Dr. Middleton and journalism faculty member Dr. Hugh Martin, as well as with Drs. Becker and Vlad and Ms. Dai, over lunch. Following that meeting, Zhang toured the facilities of the Grady College before returning to Atlanta.