2012 Murrow Fellows, Sanda Chao (US State Dept), four Grady College faculty members as panelists and Dr. Lee B Becker as moderator of the session.

Murrow Fellowship Program Brought Five Chinese-Speaking Journalists to the University of Georgia

Five journalists from China, Hong Kong and Singapore, in the United States in October and November to learn about U.S. media coverage of elections, were primed by experts at the University of Georgia and then visited media organizations to watch that coverage unfold on election day.

The program was organized by the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research and included a discussion with students in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, of which the Cox Center is a part.

One of the questions that came up at the meeting with students, also attended by Grady College faculty, was whether the newsrooms of the guests were open to students trained in U.S. journalism programs.

“We welcome in our newsrooms Chinese graduates of U.S. journalism programs,” said Ms. Guanxiong Wu, a reporter for China News Service Hong Kong Branch. “They bring an expertise and an international perspective that are needed in this global environment.”

“The media industry in China is growing fast, especially in its entertainment component,” said Ms. Lu Yao, with China Business News TV. “It takes a lot of skills and training to remain competitive in the market.”

The guests also asked the students and faculty about media in the United States, the U.S. job market for journalism and mass communication graduates, and the impact of new technologies and social media on traditional journalism.

The journalists visited the Grady College from Nov. 4 to Nov. 6 as part of the Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists.

While at the University of Georgia, the journalists met also met with members of the UGA Chinese Student Association. They also visited the Peabody Awards Program and WUGA TV.

Four Grady College faculty who covered elections during their previous careers as journalists, Cynthia Tucker, David Hazinski, John Greenman and Steve Smith, participated in a panel on U.S. media and elections, moderated by Dr. Lee Becker, director of the Cox International Center.

The panelists explained how the electoral voting system in the country has shaped the journalists’ work during the campaigns and elections and how the hotly contested states get almost all the attention of the presidential candidates and of the media. The panelists also mentioned the huge amount of money that is spent in political advertising.

The visitors also met with Dr. Charles Bullock, Richard B. Russell Professor of political science and an expert on elections in the South-East.

“There are significant differences between the U.S. two-party system and the European multi-party structure,” Dr Bullock told the journalists. “The U.S. Republicans and Democrats have to accommodate a broad range of attitudes and priorities under their large umbrellas, while the European political organizations can target more specific audiences."

Dr. Charles Bullock, political science professor at UGA (left), and Dr. Tudor Vlad, associate director of Cox Center (right)

Dr. Bullock said that the Republican Party might consider moving a little back toward the center after the elections on Nov. 6.

Six Fulbright scholars at universities in the state of Georgia also joined the Murrow fellows for Dr. Bullock's lecture.

On the social side, the group participated in a reception organized by the Cox International Center and experienced Chinese food at The Golden Dragon.

Following the visit to the University of Georgia, the journalists traveled to Atlanta to observe how representatives of professional media organizations at CNN and at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution covered the election night.

They also had meetings with Georgia elected officials and toured the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site.

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 Cox Center also hosted Murrow Fellows in 2009, 2010, and 2011.

The journalists began their three-week excursion in Washington, D.C., and visited Denver, and Chicago after their visit to Georgia.

The visiting journalists were: Ms. Guanxiong Wu, reporter, China News Service, Hong Kong Branch Ltd.; Ms. Zhou Xing, producer, Hong Kong Television International Media Group; Mr. Tianbing Weng, president, Guangzhou Metro Daily; Ms. Lu Yao, director, News Assignments, China Business News TV; and Ms. Yong May Han, news editor, Lianhe Zaobao.

The guests were accompanied by Ms. Sanda Chao, U.S. Department of State program officer, and by interpreters Ms. Shu Yu Lai and Mr. Marty Zhu.