Stefan Candea (center) visits with Dr. Tudor Vlad (left) and Dr. Lee Becker outside the Cox Center.

Tailored Program Set for Romanian Investigative Journalist

Stefan Candea, director of the Center for Investigative Journalism in Bucharest, Romania, spent three weeks in July and August in the United States learning about American investigative reporting and journalism and mass communication education.

The program was organized by the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research at the University of Georgia and funded by the U.S. Embassy in Romania.

During the first part of the visit, Candea participated in graduate and undergraduate classes in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. He also met with 12 different Grady faculty, including two legal experts. He visited the student newspaper, The Red & Black, and an independent weekly newspaper in Athens, Flagpole. He also participated in the Annual Newspaper Management Seminar organized in the Grady College.

The Cox Center is a unit of the Grady College.

Candea next spent three days in the International Center for Investigative Journalism in Washington, D.C., where he observed the daily activity of the Center and had discussions with journalists working for Center for Public Integrity. He also researched the Foreign Agent Registration Act Unit public records office and visited The Washington Post, where a story about Candea’s work was later published.

During the last part of the program, the Romanian reporter was hosted for five days by the Atlanta Journal Constitution, where he met with reporters and editors and discussed their work. He learned about techniques used in investigation and about the organization of the investigative teams at the paper.

While in Atlanta, Candea also visited the investigative unit of Fox 5, a local television station.

“It was fun having Stefan in our newsroom,” said editor Lea Donoski, who participated in two Cox center workshops in Romania in 2004 on media coverage of elections.

“The meetings with Grady faculty have been very useful,” said Candea. “They shared with me their syllabi and their teaching strategies. Our center conducts training programs for students and young journalists on investigative journalism. We will redesign parts of our courses based on the new knowledge I gained at the University of Georgia.”

Dr. Tudor Vlad, the assistant director of the Cox Center, said. “It is evident that Stefan has unusual investigative skills. His work in difficult places, such as in Transnistria and on the Ukrainian-Romanian border, has helped him understand that patience and ability to listen to what people say are crucial to the information-gathering process.”

Candea talked with Dr. Lee B. Becker, director of the Cox Center, and with Dr. Vlad on future collaboration between the Cox Center and the Romanian center for Investigative Journalism. All agreed that such a collaboration would be valuable.

The Romanian Center for Investigative Journalism was founded in 2001.

“Our trainers still lack a certain professional authority,” Candea said. “For its further development, RCIJ need’s the Cox Center’s support for continuity and professionalism in investigative journalism.”

The program for Candea was a result previous work of the Cox Center in Romania and particularly of two workshops organized by the Cox Center in Romania in May of 2003 on the role of investigative journalism in combating corruption. Candea, a co-founder of the Romanian Center for Investigative Journalism, was one of 130 participants.