Xue Qin Luo and Wei Huang at the University in November.

Chinese Editors Study Newspaper Group Management and Distribution Operation

Xue Qin Luo, director of the Arts and Entertainment Department of Shanghai Morning Post, and Wei Huang, assistant director of the Weekly Supplement of Jiefang Daily, began a two-month visit to the University of Georgia in October to gain expertise in media group management.

The editors want to learn how to improve the operation of their media group in Shanghai, Jiefang Daily Group, and how to develop a new distribution system for the publications belonging to their organization.

The Jiefang Daily Group was founded in 2000 and currently is one of the largest media groups in China. It comprises nine newspapers, three magazines and a website (www.jdaily.com). The annual circulation of the papers is over 500 million copies. About 43 percent of the employees of the group are below 35 years old.

Luo and Huang’s two-month program at 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 of Journalism and Mass Communication.

“Being in the United States for the first time has been a great experience to us,” said Wei Huang. “We have tried to see how the U.S. reality fits with the image of America that we had prior to our visit here. For instance, Athens looks to us shockingly peaceful and quiet.

“From a professional perspective, I would like to learn as much as possible about the best strategies U.S. media are using to attract advertisers and to be competitive in this regard in markets of different size,” she added.

“Most of the journalists’ routines seem to be similar in China and the United States, from the daily budget meetings to the beat structure of the newspaper newsroom,” said Xue Qin Luo. “We want to learn more about media group management and how U.S. media companies promote their products. In addition, I would like to see how reporters find news sources.”

To accomplish these goals, Luo and Huang are visiting graduate media management classes and an international media class. They also participated in newsroom meetings at the local newspaper Athens Banner Herald, which is owned by Morris Communication Company, and The Red & Black, the University of Georgia’s student newspaper.

They also have had meetings with Grady faculty and students and with staff of the International Center for Democratic Governance, a unit of the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia.

Before returning to Shanghai the two editors will have internships at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and at the Macon Telegraph. During these internships, Luo and Huang will observe the activity of various departments of the newspapers. While in Atlanta, they also will visit the headquarters of Cox Enterprises, which owns the paper.

During the internships, the editors are expected to share with U.S. journalists their opinions on recent changes in the Chinese media. While being in Atlanta, the Chinese editors will visit the CNN headquarters.

"It is a real pleasure to host Ms. Xue Qin Luo and Ms. Wei Huang here in the Center," Cox Center Assistant Director Dr. Vlad said. "They have a clear plan for what they want to accomplish and are always ready to share their experiences as Chinese journalists with students and faculty in the Grady College. They are young, but they have major responsibilities in their newspapers. I’m sure this program will help them as individual journalists and also their media organization."

Cox Center Director Dr. Lee B. Becker said the collaboration with the Jiefang Daily Group has the potential to be of great value both to the Shanghai company and to the University of Georgia. “We are really happy to have Ms. Huang and Ms. Luo with us in the Center,” he said.