Cox Center Launches Global Program Initiatives
Funded by William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

The James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research has launched two new projects focused on the training of journalists for coverage of global issues with the support of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

The Center will conduct an evaluation of the International Reporting Project at the School of Advanced International Studies at the Johns Hopkins University as part of a $126,000 contract with the Hewlett Foundation.

In addition, the Center will create an online course for journalists working in small and medium-sized media markets to help them learn the basic skills needed to cover global issues. This project is supported by a $106,000 grant from the Hewlett Foundation.

The Cox Center, a unit of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia, will work with the Poynter Institute of St. Petersburg, FL, to create the online course, which will become part of NewsUniversity (NewsU), the online offerings of the Poynter Institute.

More than 58,000 journalists and journalism students from 207 countries and territories around the world have registered for an online course at the NewsU site since it was launched in April of 2005.

The International Reporting Project began in 1998. Since that time, nearly 150 journalists have participated in a fellowship program that provides training and funding for significant reporting projects outside the U.S. boarders. To date, those projects have been in more than 80 countries.

In addition, another 100 journalists have participated in short travel seminars designed to help them understand a specific region of the world. As part of this program, in November of 2007, 12 senior editors and producers participated in a workshop in Korea that included a visit to North Korea, generally off-limits to U.S. journalists.

John Shidlovsky, director of the International Reporting Project, will serve as a resource person for creation of the online course with NewsU. He will be joined by John Greenman, Carter Professor at the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication and an expert on the management of small and medium-sized media markets.

Shidlovsky and Greenman joined Cox Center Director Lee B. Becker and Cox Center Associate Director Dr. Tudor Vlad in a planning session at the Poynter Institute in late January to begin design work for the course.

“These are both very valuable projects for the Cox Center,” Dr. Becker said after they were announced in early January. “We are delighted to be working with the Hewlett Foundation on its Global Development Program. We believe these projects will help us better comprehend how the media can play a role in improving the understanding in the United States of complex global issues.”