African journalists touring The Red & Black

African Journalists Visit the University of Georgia

Twenty broadcast journalists from 14 African francophone countries and from France visited the University of Georgia in July as part of a program that focused on promoting a better understanding of the history, structure, and functions of broadcasting in the U.S.

The program also was designed to examine the influence of broadcasting in promoting an informed citizenry within a diverse, democratic, and decentralized society and to analyze the role of broadcast communications in the U.S. in protecting democratic institutions and in promoting community development.

The visit by the journalists was a component of the International Visitor Leadership Program, a professional exchange initiative of the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

The program in Georgia was organized by the Georgia Center for International Visitors. The visit to the University of Georgia on July 26 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.

Dr. Tudor Vlad, associate director of the Cox Center, told the group that he set up visits to three media organizations that have different statuses and different relationships with the university. The group visited WNEG, the commercial television station operating in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, WUGA, the university public radio station, and the UGA student daily newspaper.

Dr. Vlad also answered questions about journalism education in the United States and about the opportunities for international students to enroll in graduate studies in communication at the University of Georgia.

"Sometimes it seems that Americans and American journalists believe that their media is the most sophisticated in the world," Michael Castangera, Grady College professor and project manager of WNEG-TV, told the African group. "Not true. You have shown me that. More importantly, you showed me that journalism is still inspirational, that it really is a profession that can make a difference in people's lives."

At WUGA, the guests met with Steve Bell, the radio station manager, and Robb Holmes, program manager.

"We try to offer local productions that are of interest for the UGA students and faculty," Bell told the guests. One such program, he said, is African Perspectives, which examines current issues in Africa and celebrates African music and culture.

African Perspectives also focuses on Africans living in Georgia and the Southeast and provides information about African-related activities on the University of Georgia campus, he said. Host Akinloye Ojo is a native of Nigeria and a UGA faculty.

The African journalists toured The Red & Black, the UGA student newspaper, and met with publisher Harry Montevideo.

"The newspaper is completely independent," Montevideo said. "We don't receive any money or logistical support from the university."

The student paper prints 16,600 copies Monday through Friday and is entirely produced by University of Georgia students.

"I read the newspaper only after its distribution, every morning," Montvideo said.

The visitors were: Mr. Abdallah Ben Ali, Paris Correspondent, Al Jazeera; Ms. Zeenat Hansrod, News Editor and Producer, Radio France Internationale; Mr. Franck Salin, Chief Editor,, France; Mr. Mamadou Boukaki, Journalist, Golfe TV, Benin; Mr. Issa Koumourdoua Napon, Journalist, Burkina Faso National Radio and TV (RTB); Ms. Hulda Araujo Moreira, Journalist, Portuguese Radio and Television RTP Africa, Cape Verde; Mr. David Dote Koimara, Editor-in-Chief, Radio Centrafrique, Central African Republic; Mr. Jean-Magloire Issa, Journalist, Radio Ndeke Luka, Central African Republic; Mr. Fnu Bakari Tchaksam, Chief Editor, Radio Terre Nouvelle, Chad; Ms. Nathalie Christine Foundou, Chief of Production, Radio Station Liberté, Republic of Congo, Mr. Ibrahim Diakite, Radio Broadcaster / Radio Producer, Radio Al Bayane, Cote D’Ivoire, Mr. Donat Paulin Mbaya Madimba, Journalist, Radio Okapi, Democratic Republic of Congo; Mr. Mohamed Lamine Bah, Chief Editor, Radio Nostalgia, Guinea; Mr. Lamine Guirassy, General Manager, Radio Espace, Guinea; Ms. Noro Arindranto Andriamialisoa, Free-Lance Journalist, Madagascar; Mr. Jean Hervé Rakotozanany, Editor-in-Chief, Radio Bosco (RDB), Madagascar; Ms. Djenebou Hima Souley, General Director, Radio Television Tenere, Niger; Ms. Aissatou Mbène Kane, Journalist, Sud FM, Senegal; Ms. Oumy Ndour, Journalist, Senegalese Radio Television Station (RTS/TV), Senegal; Ms. Ade Fafali Dotsey Epse Dovi, Journalist, TV/Radio RTDS, Togo.

Before visiting Athens and Atlanta, the delegation spent time in Washington, D.C. After their program in Georgia, the journalists stopped in Tampa before returning to their countries.