Genia Mussuri

Center Hosts Fulbright and Muskie Scholars from Korea and Ukraine

Kwang Yup Lee, a broadcast journalist from the Republic of Korea, and Yevgeniya Mussuri, a newspaper journalist from Ukraine, joined the Cox Center in August as visiting scholars. Lee has been awarded a Fulbright scholarship to support research for his doctoral dissertation. Mussuri will earn a master's degree as part of her Muskie Fellowship.

Lee is a doctoral student at Korea University, and he will spend the 2003-2004 academic year in the Cox Center examining how the Internet is changing reporting standards and information flow. He believes the Internet has altered a predominantly one-way or "linear" system into a two-way communication system that includes "public" agenda setting.

Lee continues to work as a news reporter at YTN, a 24-hour news channel in Seoul, where he has covered social affairs, business and economic issues for nine years. He also has covered international news for the Yonhap News Agency. Lee was awarded six Scoop Prizes from YTN and another from the Journalists Association of Korea in 1999 for breaking the Daewoo bankruptcy story.

Lee currently serves as a contributor to Media Worldwide, a monthly magazine published by the Korea Press Foundation and is the author of "Internet Newspaper," a chapter in the book, Internet Communication, published in 2002.

Kwang Yup

"I'm here to get valuable information," Lee explained. "We don't have access [in Korea] to the depth of (library) holdings that you have here." Lee also hopes to gain a better understanding of the 24-hour news market and how to develop a news organization into a multi-channel media environment so that he can be on the forefront to help develop this emerging aspect of the journalism industry upon his return to South Korea.

Mussuri, who goes by Genia, will spend the next two years in the master's program of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, focusing on newspaper and magazine journalism. The Cox Center is a unit of the Grady College. The Cox Center serves as her host.

Mussuri has spent the past four years as a newspaper reporter for the English language weekly, the Kyiv Post, where she covered national news as well as business and entertainment issues. Prior to that, Mussuri served as a project assistant and interpreter for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Crimea. During her tenure there, she oversaw the "Tolerance Through Arts and Culture Project," aimed at the repatriation of Crimean Tatars, who were deported to central Asia by Josef Stalin in the early 1950s.

Mussuri will join fellow Ukrainian Elvina Mustafaieva in the Cox Center. Mustafaieva also is a Muskie Fellow and also worked for the United Nations Development Program in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea in Ukraine before coming to the Cox Center and the Grady College to study public relations.

The Muskie Fellowship is well known throughout Ukraine, Mussuri said. She said she knew it would aid her country, her profession and herself. "I'd like to give Ukrainian journalists an idea of how media should work in a free country," Mussuri said, citing the Kyiv Post as one of the few independent "Western style" newspapers in Ukraine. "It's very biased there," she explained. "You need to know who owns what [publications]."

During her stay in Georgia, Mussuri plans to visit American newspapers and to complete an internship.

In addition to learning all she can about journalism as it is practiced in the United States, Mussuri said she believes her education within Grady College and work in the Cox Center will prepare her for future professional and leadership opportunities. Upon her return to Ukraine in two years, Mussuri hopes to work for a newspaper or magazine as a national editor.

Mussuri said she thinks her international experience will help her make professional contacts. Echoing Lee, Mussuri says, "We can cooperate with one another as journalists and exchange information." Both Lee and Mussuri have offices in the Cox Center.

The Edmund S. Muskie/Freedom Support Act Fellowship Program, administered by American Councils for International Education and funded by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, is designed to encourage economic and democratic reform in the states of the former Soviet Union. Muskie Fellows are selected from the newly independent states of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

"We are delighted to have Kwang Yup and Genia join the Center," Cox Center Director Dr. Lee B. Becker said. "Both will contribute to the work of the Center and enrich the experiences of undergraduate and graduate students here in the Grady College."

Shushanik Navasardian from Armenia, the first Muskie Fellow hosted by the Cox Center, completed her graduate studies in May of 2003 and is now working professionally for Armenian television in Los Angeles.