Swedish Journalist, Marianne Björklund, and Cox Center Director, Dr. Lee B. Becker.

Cox Center Hosts Business Reporter from Sweden

Swedish journalist Marianne Björklund spent four days at the University of Georgia in September learning about the media and about social and economic issues in the state of Georgia.

Her program in Athens, organized by the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research, was part of the three-month fellowship called Transatlantic Media Network, coordinated by the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.

The Cox International Center is a unit of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication and partnered with CSIS for the visit.

Björklund is a reporter for the financial desk of Dagens Nyheter, Sweden’s largest daily, where she covers a variety of international issues, such as the European parliament in Brussels and the debt crisis in the EU. She has been assigned to cover Greece and other countries affected by the debt crisis.

“We are always glad and honored to host foreign journalists here in the Grady College,” Dr. E. Culpepper Clark, dean of the Grady College, told the Swedish guest when they met as part of the visit. “We want our students to be exposed to first-hand depictions of different media systems and to learn how international media professionals perceive the U.S. press.”

During her meetings with Grady students and faculty, Björklund said that the circulation of newspapers in Sweden has not decreased in the last five years, in part because the country has a culture that values print media. She admitted that this is a temporary situation, however, as the young generations tend to use electronic devices to get the news.

Dr. Douglas Bachtel, professor of consumer economics, discussed current economic developments in Georgia with the Swedish journalist.

“Georgia has been attractive in recent years to companies and investors,” Dr. Bachtel said, “because the legislators have implemented regulations that are advantageous to those who want to do business here. The geographic location also is advantageous, with the big city of Atlanta and its airport and the port of Savannah.”

The discussion also focused on the dynamics of demographics in the state of Georgia, with a special focus on Atlanta.

Dr. C. Ann Hollifield, head of the telecommunications department, discuss the media management program in the Grady College with Björklund and explained how the curriculum has been adjusted to reflect changes in the media industry.

Björklund also had a meeting with Dr. Horace Newcomb, director of the Peabody Awards Program, and attended Dr. Janice Hume’s class, Magazine Management.

Professor David Hazinski gave Björklund a presentation of the broadcast media market in the United States and of the media consulting that he has conducted internationally, while Dr. Carolina Acosta-Alzuru talked about financial implications of telenovelas.

The Swedish journalist had meetings with Drs. Lee Becker and Tudor Vlad, director and associate director of the Cox Center, to learn about journalism and mass communication education in the United States and about the Center’s international programs and research.

Before her arrival in Athens, Björklund visited Washington, D.C., and Nashville, Tenn. Her next destinations after her departure from Georgia included South Carolina, Colorado, California, Utah, Texas and Arkansas.