Bernie Lunzer, Guild President, Aidan White,
General Secretary of the International Federation of Journalists, and Dr. Tudor Vlad

Economic Crisis Calls for New Management Solutions, Vlad Says at Management Workshop in Russia

Media systems and practices from the past have failed during the current global economic crisis, Dr. Tudor Vlad, associate director of the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research at the University of Georgia, told a workshop on media management in Dagomys, Russia, in September.

“We are here to identify new solutions and to see how the management of mass communication should be adjusted due to the crisis and to the impact of the new technologies,” Dr. Vlad said.

Dr. Vlad and Vladimir Kasiutin, media expert of the Russian Journalists Union, coordinated the program for 42 journalists from the Tumen region of Russia, which ran on September 25.

The project, which included another workshop on media management organized in June in Samara by the Cox Center and the Russian Journalists’ Union in Samara, has been funded by a grant to the RUJ by the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX) in Washington.

The Cox Center, RUJ and the Newspaper Guild in the United States also are contributing to the project.

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

“We are here to share our experiences and to participate in a real exchange,” Dr. Azhgikhina said while opening the workshop. “During previous activities in this project, I have been amazed to see how many similar challenges are facing press organizations and journalists working in different cultures and media systems.”

“There are no miracle solutions for media organizations during these times of global crisis,” said Bernie Lunzer, president of the Newspaper Guild, who also participated in the discussion. “We have to learn from each other and share our experiences, good and bad.”

“The dignity of the journalist’s status has to be protected and we have to be proud of our occupation, because we serve the principles of democracy,” Lunzer continued. “A real democracy is built by and with well informed citizens.”

Mikhail Mirnii, director of IREX Russia, said his organization views the program “as an opportunity to improve the professionalism of the media here in Russia, but also as a way to stimulate collaborative work between Russian and American journalists.”

The workshop was a part of the 14th edition of the Russian Journalists Festival in Dagomys, by the Black Sea. More than 950 journalists from Russia, former states of the Soviet Union, and other countries participated in the festival, which has been initiated and coordinated by Vsevolod Bogdanov, president of RUJ.

During the same festival, a book on media management that resulted from the contributions to the workshops was launched. The book, Media Management and the Role of Professional Organizations in Crisis: Experiences of Russia, USA and International Journalism Initiatives, is the result of the year of collaboration between the Russian Journalists Union, the Cox International Center at the University of Georgia and Newspaper Guild.

“The volume tries to offer to journalists and media organizations some ideas about the perspectives of traditional media and the impact of technologies on the field of mass communication,” Dr. Vlad said. “Many of these ideas have been generated during our meetings in Moscow and Samara.”

Dr. Lee B. Becker, director of the Cox Center, also contributed to the book, as did Grady College faculty David Hazinski and Dr. C. Ann Hollifield and Dr. Vlad.

Aidan White, executive secretary of the International Federation of Journalists, Jay Smith, former Cox Newspapers president, Lunzer, from the Guild, Dr. Azhgikhina from the RUJ, Vladimir Kasiutin, from RUJ, and Altai media group owner Yuri Purgin also wrote parts of the book.