Cox Center Associate Director Vlad Speaks at EU Meeting in Sarajevo

A University of Georgia scientist told the European Union’s media think-tank COST A30 Action at its meeting in Sarajevo in early June that research shows that there has been little coordination among international media assistance funders and implementers.

During the keynote address at the June 6 meeting, Dr. Tudor Vlad, associate director of the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research, summarized research he and others in the Center have conducted on media assistance.

“Most of the evaluations following the media assistance programs focused only on their impact on the individuals who participated in the training,” Dr. Vlad said. “Little has been assessed about how media organizations and the field of journalism have been affected.

“Mapping these programs and examining their long-term impact – if any – would help us understand which type of intervention works better in a specific emerging democracy at a specific time during the transition,” Dr. Vlad continued.

Dr. Vlad was invited to be a member COST after he visited the Central European University in Budapest in May and then was asked to give the keynote address at the June meeting.

COST (European Cooperation in the field of Scientific and Technical Research) is one of the longest-running European instruments supporting cooperation among scientists and researchers across Europe.

COST is also the first and broadest European intergovernmental network for coordination of nationally funded research activities. It consists of distinguished media scholars and experts from 27 European Union countries. The group meets twice a year to discuss media policies and research in the EU.

Currently, the COST A30 Action group is engaged in research concerning media production, media reception and use and the political implications of the transformation of the media in the Eastern and Central European context.

The title of the talk given by Dr. Vlad at the Sarajevo meeting was "Press Freedom Indicators and the Assessment of International Media Assistance Programs."

COST has a geographical scope beyond the EU and welcomes the participation of interested institutions from non-COST member states without any geographical restriction. It funds basic and pre-competitive research for peaceful purposes as well as activities of public utility.

COST also contributes to the scientific, economic, cultural or societal development of Europe, by supporting networking activities such as meetings, conferences, short term scientific exchanges and outreach activities.

“It is a real honor that Dr. Vlad has been selected to join COST,” Dr. Lee B. Becker, director of the Cox Center, said. “Dr. Vlad’s work has been instrumental to the Center, and it is wonderful that he will have an opportunity to share with and learn from his colleagues on the think tank.”

The Cox Center is the international outreach arm of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.

COST A30 Action participants work on empirically based frameworks of analysis for specific media problems facing the region. The Action is also in the process of developing a European social science research network with a focus on emerging problems of Central and Eastern European media in a comparative perspective.

By involving both West and East leading scholars, organizing academic conferences, workshops and innovative research collaboration, and initiating policy dialogues, the Action promotes a European level cutting-edge media research agenda.

Following the June meeting in Sarajevo, Dr. Becker and Dr. Vlad were invited by Dr. Miklos Sukosd, coordinator of COST A30, to coordinate the section “Reviewing International Media Assistance Programs” at the June 2009 International Conference in Budapest, Hungary, organized by COST A30 Action in collaboration with the International Communication Association.