Cox Center Assistant Director Delivers Lectures At Indiana University School of Journalism

Despite the prominence of mid-career training programs for working journalists in the United States and around the world, little is known about their effectiveness, Dr. Tudor Vlad told graduate students and faculty at the Indiana University School of Journalism in October.

“Impact is more difficult to assess than success in offering a program and level of participation,” Dr. Vlad said, “but there is no better way to improve the journalism midcareer training than by examining the short- and long-term effects of such programs on participants, on their media organizations and on the entire field.”

Dr. Vlad, assistant director of the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research, has worked on numerous evaluation projects in recent years. The Cox Center is a unit of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.

Dr. Vlad was invited to lecture at the IU School of Journalism by Dr. Amy Reynolds, the School’s associate dean for research and graduate studies. His visit included meetings with faculty and graduate students, the lecture on effectiveness of journalism midcareer training programs and a presentation of the Annual Surveys of Journalism & Mass Communication to doctoral students in Dr. David Weaver’s Media Research class.

Dr. Vlad supervises fieldwork for the Annual Surveys, which are housed in the Cox Center and are funded by a group of professional associations and media organizations and foundations.

Dr. Vlad told the doctoral students that undergraduate enrollments in journalism and mass communication programs have grown every year back to 1993. “Numbers show that it’s more of a myth that student enrollments are strongly tied to real-world media events, “ Dr. Vlad added. “Not only did enrollments in journalism and mass communication programs grow last year, despite the industry turmoil, but enrollments in the core journalistic areas increased, which suggests students may believe that the skills of the traditional media occupations will apply to the new ones.”

Dr. Brad Hamm, dean of the School of Journalism, discussed with Dr. Vlad his efforts to attract more international students to the journalism program at Indiana University. The dean will travel to three Asian countries in 2007 to promote the school and to identify local partners. Dr. Vlad described the international training programs and research projects of the Cox Center.
Dr. Hamm had met Vlad in 1996 at the University of North Carolina, where the former was a doctoral student and the latter an IREX visiting scholar. At that time, Dr. Vlad was the head of the Journalism Department of the Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

“The invitation to Indiana University was a great professional and personal experience,” Dr. Vlad said. “Being a guest speaker in Dr. Weaver’s class was an honor, and talking with Brad, now in his new position as the dean of the school, reminded me of our conversations about journalism education ten years ago.”