Dr. Tudor Vlad and Nicoleta Corbu infront of the Communication Research Center.

Cox Center Associate Director Tudor Vlad Proposes Collaboration to Romanian Educators

The associate director of the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research at the University of Georgia told faculty and students at the National School of Political and Administrative Studies in Bucharest in November that he looked forward to collaboration in the future.

“Solutions to the major problems the world is facing can be reached only through collaboration,” Dr. Tudor Vlad said in opening remarks at the one-day conference on R&D Perspective, Promoting Innovation through Education, Culture and Communication organized by the National School.

Dr. Vlad had just summarized a number of research projects completed in recent years in the Cox Center, a unit of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. Among those projects were a conflict resolution workshop and evaluation in the Philippines and analysis of the negative impact of excessive media competition in emerging media markets.

The National School has launched a new Communication Research Center, modeled in part after the Cox Center, and Dr.Vlad indicated that the Cox Center hopes to continue to work with the new center in the future. The center is being directed by Dr. Nicotela Corbu, who was a Fulbright Scholar in the Cox Center in academic year 2008-2009.

Dr. Vlad and Cox Center Director Dr. Lee B. Becker were keynote speakers at the conference, held Nov. 6 in the National School. About 80 students and other conference participants attended the first session during which Drs. Vlad and Becker made their remarks. The participants split into working groups for the remainder of the day.

Dr. Becker told the group that the work of journalists in the United States is changing as a result of the economic problems facing the country generally and the changes in the economics of the media industries.

“The sharp downturn in the U.S. economy and the collapse of the economic model for media industries in the country had dramatic impact on the job market for communication workers in 2008-2009,” Dr. Becker said.

He summarized research that he and Dr. Vlad carry out in the Cox Center that shows that graduates of journalism and mass communication programs in the United States faced an extremely difficult job market last year.

The work of journalists now is less likely to be carried out in large media organizations, Dr. Becker said. The work is more likely to be carried out by persons working on their own, he said, Dr. Becker said that there is some evidence of a “type of deprofessionalization of the communication occupations is underway.”

“Any such deprofessionalization of an occupation necessarily raises questions about the necessity for and components of educational training for entry to the occupation,” Dr. Becker said. He suggested journalism and mass communication programs in the U.S. clearly need to rethink how they certify their graduates so they can deal with the changing work environment.

Other papers at the conference dealt with a variety of management issues, including the role of public managers in innovation, project-oriented university instruction, techniques for fostering marketing innovation, the role of structural spending on development.