2011 Edward R. Murrow Fellows.

Ten Russian-Speaking Journalists Visited University of Georgia as Murrow Fellows

Ten journalists from former Soviet countries engaged in an exchange about media in their countries and the U.S. during a pizza lunch with faculty and students at the University of Georgia in early November.

“There are similarities and differences among our countries,” said Ms. Sayyora Ruzikulova. “Our Constitutions do not look the same, but almost all of them include articles about freedom of expression and about press freedom.”

“The problem is that what is stipulated in the Constitutions is not always reinforced in real life,” said Ms. Liliana Vitu-Esanu. “Sometimes it is very frustrating for us, as journalists, when we reveal through investigations corruption and abuses and nothing happens.”

The guests also asked questions focusing on media in the United States, on reasons why U.S. students pick journalism as their careers, and on impact of press coverage on government decisions.

The journalists were visiting the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia from Nov. 2 to Nov. 6 as part of the Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists.

While at the University of Georgia, the journalists met with Grady College students and faculty, visited the Peabody Awards Program, the New Media Institute and WUGA TV.

They also met with faculty of the Slavic Department in the School of Comparative Literature and of the Carl Vinson Institute of Government and joined a discussion at the Center for International Trade and Security.

On the social side, the group participated in the Grady College Homecoming Party and watched in the Sanford Stadium as the University of Georgia football team beat the team from New Mexico State.

Edward R. Murrow Fellows in discussion with Grady students and faculty during pizza luncheon.

More than 50 Grady students and faculty attended the pizza lunch discussion with the foreign visitors and asked questions about media in their countries.

Following the visit to the University of Georgia, the journalists traveled to Atlanta to meet with representatives of professional media organizations at CNN and at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and with employees of Governor Nathan Deal’s Office of Communications.

The visitors were part of a larger group of 150 journalists participating in a program organized by the U.S. Department of State, the Aspen Institute and 10 select U.S. journalism programs in the U.S.

The Georgia program was organized by the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research, a unit of Grady College, and the Georgia Center for International Visitors.

The Center also hosted Murrow Fellows in 2009 and 2010.

The goal of the Edward Murrow Program for Journalists, organized under the auspices of the U.S. Department of State, was to allow the visitors to examine journalistic practices in the U.S. The journalists began their three-week excursion in Washington and ended it in New York.

The visting journalists were: Alexandr Gabchenko, independent journalist, Kazakhstan; Nadira Isaeva, editor-in-chief, Chernovik newspaper, Russia; Nilufar Kalimova, correspondent, Tajikistan; Aman Mehinli, photographer, Turkmenistan; Victoriya Piriyeva, correspondent, Azerbaijan; Maxim Pyadushkin, editor-in-chief, Observer newspaper, Russia; Sayyora Ruzikulova, independent journalist, Uzbekistan; Ilja Smirnov, editor, Estonia; Liliana Vitu_Esanu, director, Moldova TV, Moldova; and Roman Zayats, director, RadioSchool, Ukraine.