Dr Tudor Vlad with the international journalists and State Department representative Mr. Kerry Keys.

Diverse Group of International Journalists Discusses Non-Traditional Media In Grady Visit

Eight journalists and new media experts spent a day in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication in early April to learn about the role of non-traditional media in government coverage and about journalism education in the United States.

Dr. Lee B. Becker, director of the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research, told the group that, with the shrinking of newsrooms in the U.S., citizens are getting less information about their local governments than in the past and than is necessary.

Dr. Becker said that increase involvement of citizens in the activities of journalism provides one possible solution to this problem.

"We as citizens have to say, `Why don't we make it part of our hobby to report?'” Dr. Becker said. “Maybe you can monetize it across time, but we have to go into it with the idea that our communities need more attention than they're going to be provided by the legacy media.”

Without that information, Dr. Becker said, “democracy will suffer."

Following a tour of the building giver by a Grady Student Ambassador, the group met with Dean Charles Davis, who gave an overview of the College, its mission and its plans to stay on top of the changing media landscape.

"Grady must signal to the world that we are digital centric," he said. “We have to be able to anticipate how the broad communication industry will look in the future in order to prepare our students accordingly.”

Dr. Tudor Vlad, associate director of the Cox Center, led the group in a discussion of journalism education in the United States and used data from the Annual Surveys of Journalism and Mass Communications, a research project conducted annually by the Cox Center.

Dr. Vlad said that 80 percent of the journalism program administrators in the country reported their schools having undergone "major changes" in recent years, mostly in the areas of multimedia, social media and strategic communication./p>

“We are glad and honored that you are here today,” Dr. Vlad told the visitors. “Some of the Cox Center international collaborative projects have started with visits like yours, and we hope to work with you again in the future.”

Their program at the University of Georgia was organized by the Center International Center, a unit of the Grady College. The three-day program in the state of Georgia was coordinated by the Georgia Center for International Visitors in Atlanta.

Dr Tudor Vlad discussing journalism education in the United States with the visiting journalists. Photo by: Stephanie Moreno, Public Relations Specialist II, UGA Grady College.

The guests were part of a larger group of about two dozen visitors participating in a three week project called Media Literacy Promoting Civil Society Through New Media, organized by the International Visitor Leadership Program of the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Participants included: Mirza Ajnadzic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, editor and chief of eFM Student Radio; Tharum Bun of Cambodia, a contributing writer for Global Voices Online; Edmond Doua of Cote d'Ivoire, a technical advisor in the Communicatons and Public Relations Department for the Ministry of Planning and Development; Janja Sesar of Croatia, project manager of Kurziv, a platform for cultural, media and social issues; Denis Scott Chabrol of Guyana, managing director and managing editor of Demerara Waves Media, Inc.; Denis Tokarskiy of Russia, director of Megapolis Publishing Company; Cigdem Tongal of Turkey, a research associate for the Istanbul Policy Center at Sabanci University; and Alberto Nardelli of the United Kingdom, co founder of Tweetminster.

Their first two stops were in Washington, D.C. and New York. After their visit to Georgia, they traveled to Sacramento and San Francisco before returning to their home countries.