Visiting managers from Jiangxi Province.

24 Chinese Managers from Jiangxi Province Hear about Challenges Facing U.S. Media

The 24 Chinese visitors–mostly junior-level managers from Jiangxi Province–took a break in their busy schedule of visits with governmental officials to learn about the challenges facing members of another occupation–journalism.
The group, which, in fact, included two journalists, was about midway through its nearly three-week U.S. visit when journalism dominated its discussion.

That visit was organized by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia and featured stops at Congressional offices in Washington, meetings with legislators at the Georgia Capitol in Atlanta, conversation with a councilman in Atlanta and discussions with a mayor in Athens.

The session on journalism was held on November 20 and was 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.

Dr. E. Culpepper Clark, dean of the Grady College, welcomed the visitors and thanked the members for coming to learn about journalism in the United States. Dr. Lee B. Becker, director of the Cox Center, explained the structure of journalism education in the United States and the curriculum of the Grady College.

Dr. Horace Newcomb, director of the prestigious Peabody Awards Program at the Grady College, told the group that the media in the United States face stiff competition for audience attention and that many in the industry are concerned about its survival in its current state.

Dr. Hugh Martin, a faculty member in the Grady College who specializes in media economics and management, identified three management challenges facing the media in the U.S.: audience fragmentation, “convergence and pressure from disruptive technologies,” and “unstable business models and pressures from investors.”
Dr. Martin identified several strategies being used to respond to these challenges, including a focus on “branding” and development of unique online sites.

Following the lectures, the group toured the Grady College before heading off for a visit to the state’s Botanical Garden, located near the University of Georgia campus in Athens.

The group had arrived in Georgia on November 11 and quickly made stops in Atlanta, Brunswick, Savannah and Macon before arriving in Athens on November 18. The group ended its program on November 28 in Washington.

The government officials represented the fourth cohort of Jiangxi public administrators trained by Carl Vinson Institute through its International Center for Democratic Governance. The training has two phases. In phase one, the Carl Vinson Institute sends American instructors to China to teach for two weeks. In the second phase, the trainees visit the United States.

Among the delegates was Qui Guorong, general office director of China Jiangxi TV Station, who expressed interest in training program of the Cox Center. The Cox Center conducts short workshops around the world on topics of interest to local journalists and journalistic organizations.

Guorong said the short discussion at the Grady College only whetted his appetite. He said he would like to have more of an opportunity to learn about journalism and journalism training in the United States.