Dr. Pavlovic, Dr. Becker and Dr. Vlad.

Serbian Dean and a Beginning Instructor Spend Month in Spring Learning about Journalism Education in the U.S.

Dr. Vukasin Pavlovic, associate dean for international affairs of the College of Political Sciences at Belgrade University, and graduate student Ana Milojevic each spent a month at the University of Georgia in the spring of 2007 learning about how the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication teaches students about journalism and related professions.

Each was participating in a faculty exchange that is a part of a three-year project funded by a grant to the University of Georgia from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State.

Each also visited Clark Atlanta University, a historically black institution located in downtown Atlanta. Clark Atlanta is a partner in the project.

Obviously, Dean Pavlovic and graduate student Milojevic had different perspectives on the visit. Journalism is housed in the College of Political Sciences at Belgrade, and Dean Pavlovic, a political science professor, was particularly interested in administrative issues.

Ms. Milojevic, who has been working as a teaching assistant in the journalism program, was interested in teaching techniques and course content.

Dr. Pavlovic’s main goal was to get insights on the new curriculum for the journalism program in Belgrade, in response to the requirements of standardization of European educational programs as called for by the Bologna treaty and to the needs of the media market in Serbia.

“Talking with our American colleagues about the Grady College curriculum and examining some on the syllabi has been extremely useful to me,” Dr. Pavlovic said. “It has helped me learn more about how they combine media theory, journalism skill-oriented classes, and courses outside the journalism program.”

Dr. Pavlovic also had conversations with Dr. E. Culpepper Clark, dean of the Grady College, and with Drs. Lee Becker and Tudor Vlad, director and assistant director of the Cox Center, about a workshop being planned for Belgrade on media and diversity. The May workshop also was part of the three-year exchange program.

“This is such an important issue for our region,” the Serbian visitor said. “I’m sure the workshop will attract not only journalists and journalism educators, but also political scientists and sociologists.”

“Diversity is a major topic here in the United States and in this part of the country,” Dr. Clark said. “The history of the South is complex, and there many lessons to be learned from examining it. It will be interesting to compare, during the workshop, the U.S. and the Serbian approaches of diversity.”

Ms. Milojevic participated in a variety of undergraduate and graduate classes and met with faculty in the Grady College. For example, she was interviewed by students in an undergraduate reporting and writing class taught by Dr. Becker, where she explained her personal experiences as a young person growing up when Serbia was isolated internationally and actually bombed by NATO warplanes.

“Because of the economic situation with a war and embargo, we’re behind you” in journalism programs, she told the students.

“Being at the University of Georgia and for the first time in the United States has been a great experience to me,” said Ms. Milojevic at the end of her program. “I’ve had the opportunity to learn about journalism education, about the American culture, and to make new friends.”

During the two-day visit to Clark Atlanta University, the two participated in broadcast journalism classes, toured the university radio stations and had meetings with Clark Atlanta professors Brenda Wright and James McJunkins, who had participated in previous workshops in Belgrade under the auspices of this collaborative program.

The project has been initiated and coordinated 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 at the University of Georgia.

The project has included faculty exchanges in each of the three years of the project as well as a workshop in Serbia on journalism education or media practice each year.

“We are getting close to the end of this project, but not of our collaboration,” Dr. Becker told the Serbian journalism educators. “We have to identify new funding sources for a continuation of our partnership.”