Dr. Tudor Vlad presenting workshop in the capital city of Chisinau in Moldova.

Cox Center Associate Director Conducts Training in Moldova Funded by the European Union

Dr. Tudor Vlad, associate director of the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research at the University of Georgia, conducted four workshops in the Republic of Moldova in December after having been selected for the project by the European Union Center for Press Freedom and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.

The participants in each of the four workshops were journalists and public relations professionals working for the central or local government.

The total number of participants in the week-long set of workshops was 140.

“There are many people in the United States who are disappointed by how local media cover their communities,” Dr. Vlad told the audience in the city of Balti. “People in the media should try to learn more about the citizens’ real priorities, while local government communicators should not treat the journalists as their enemies.”

The coordinator of the program was Alexandr Cliuicov of the Press Freedom Center, and the local trainer was Ms. Ludmila Andronic, public relations manager at Le Bridge.

Dr. Vlad was the only foreign educator selected by the EU and Konrad Adenauer sponsors.

The discussion focused on good public relations and journalism practices and on how the new technologies have changed the communication landscape. The first workshop was held on Dec. 19 in Chisinau, and the others were on Dec. 20, 22 and 23 in Balti, Cahul and Chisinau.

“There are new players in the field, such as bloggers, citizen or community journalists,” Dr. Vlad told the audiences. “Some of them have gained the trust of members of their communities, by covering what media have not covered or have done it superficially, and cannot be ignored by authorities.”

Dr. Vlad illustrated this part of his presentation by using Oconee County Observations, the blog created by Dr. Lee Becker, Cox International Center director. Dr. Becker’s blog focuses on news in Oconee County, where he lives.

The main goal of the workshops was to create the premises for a better informed citizenry in the Republic of Moldova as an important element in the process of democratization in the country and in the European integration.

The program was part of the project “Return to democracy, Strengthening journalism capacities, Improving governmental cooperation and Advocating free media in Moldova,” funded by the European Union and implemented by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the Center for Press Freedom and the Political Academy of the Austrian Popular Party (PolAK).

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

Two of the programs were organized in the capital, Chisinau, and the other two in Balti and Cahul.