Dr. Ayman Nada, Mrs. Naoual El Gourari, Mr. Adib Guelzim, Mrs. Soumaya Derhourhi, Dr. Tudor Vlad, Mr. Hassan Louhmadi, and Dr. Lee Becker.

Four TV and Radio Journalists from Morocco Discuss U.S. Broadcast Education and Practice

Dan Keever, an instructor in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia, told the four Moroccan journalists who visited the College on June 19 that he and his colleagues want their students to be ready for their first jobs.

“In our Telecommunications Department, we have professors with extensive experience in broadcast journalism,” Keever said.. “Our approach is to expose our students to all challenges that they will face in the television newsrooms after graduation.”

The Moroccan broadcast journalists were: Mrs. Soumaya Derhourhi, reporter at 2M Television in Casablanca; Mrs. Naoual El Gourari, journalist at the National Society of Radio and Television in Rabat; Mr. Adib Guelzim, head of the Department of Logistics of the National Society of Radio and Television in Rabat; and Mr. Hassan Louhmadi, journalist at 2M Television in Casablanca.

The journalists were participating in a one-day program organized by the James M. Cox, Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research, a unit of the Grady College. It included not only the discussionof broadcast education and practice, but also of media law and Cox center international research projects.

The Moroccans were visiting the Grady College as part of a program sponsored by the United States Department of State's International Visitor Leadership Program. The Georgia portion of their trip was coordinated by the Georgia Council for International Visitors.

Drs. Lee Becker and Tudor Vlad, director and assistant director of the Cox Center, and Dr. Ayman Nada, professor at the Cairo University and visiting scholar in the Center, welcomed the guests.

“In the United States it remains the case that most people who get jobs in newspaper and television newsroom are graduates of journalism and mass communication academic programs,” said Dr. Becker. “More than 460 such programs offer degrees across the country.”

“This is one of the major problems that we face in Morocco,” said Mrs. Soumaya Derhourhi. “We have only one journalism academic program supported by the state. Only few people can get into this school. There are several private programs, but their quality is not so high.”

“The Peabody Awards are the oldest awards for electronic media in the world,” Dr. Horace Newcomb, director of the Peabody Awards program told the Moroccan journalists. “It is very selective, very difficult to achieve, but we think that they create standards in electronic media across all forms and genres: journalism, entertainment, documentaries, children, public service.”

Morocco also has awards for broadcast journalism, the equivalent of about $7,000, said Mr. Hassan Louhmadi, but they focus almost entirely on investigative materials.

Professor David Hazinski and Keever gave the visitors a tour of the Grady College television studios and presented three software programs used by the students in their production classes. “Our students are aware that they won’t find this level of technology in many of the television newsrooms where they will get their first job,” Mrs. Soumaya Derhourhi said.

Dr. Kent Middleton, head of the Grady College Journalism Department, briefly described the U.S. mass communication legal system. “The U.S. journalists don’t think that they are above the law,” he said. “On the contrary, they use the law to gather information and to protect themselves from abuse and pressure.”

The Moroccan journalists expressed their interest in future collaboration with the Cox Center. Their program in the United States also included stops in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Des Moines, Los Angeles, and New York.