Institute of Communication, University Lyon 2.

Media Need More Than Financial Resources To Be Viable, Researcher Tells Conference Attendees

Media in a country need more than just financial resources to be viable, University of Georgia researcher Dr. C. Ann Hollifield told a gathering of international scholars at the University Lyon 2 in late June.

The media also need a legal framework that guarantees freedom of speech and media, governmental transparency, and access to information and accountability, said Dr. Hollifield, who specializes in media management and economics.

The media also need an environment that allows journalists to work safely and without fear, a justice system that holds accountable those who attack journalists, violate speech or corruption laws, or commit crimes, and an advertising market free of government control, Dr. Hollifield said.

Dr. Hollifield said a country’s media should be assessed by scholars and media advocates in terms of their “viability” as a way to lead to better media products.

Dr. Hollifield’s comments were part of her keynote address at the international conference on Media and the Public Sphere, New Challenges in the Digital Era, held June 18 and 19 at the French university.

Dr. C. Ann Hollifield, keynote speaker from the University of Georgia.

Dr. Jacques Le Bohec, from University Lyon 2, gave the second keynote address, on the paradox of  Orwell’s 1984. Dr. LeBohec said that the novel was perceived in the past as describing the negative consequences of an authoritarian society on its members. Now, he added, with the use of new technologies on surveillance even in consolidated democracies, due to the terrorism threat, it can be read as a fable with broader meanings.

Approximately 30 scholars from Brazil, Canada, Israel, France, Romania, the United States and elsewhere were in attendance.

The conference was organized by the Institute of Communication at University Lyon 2,  the Center for Communication Research at the National University for Political Studies and Public Administration, Bucharest, and the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research at the University of Georgia.

Dr. Jacques Le Bohec, University Lyon 2.

It was the fifth conference on the topic of Media and the Public Sphere organized by the three universities.

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

Cox Center Director Dr. Lee B. Becker and Associate Director Dr. Tudor Vlad attended the conference and presented a research paper focusing on journalism and mass communication education in the United States.

The researchers found that journalism and mass communication faculty members in the U.S. are becoming older but are less likely than 15 years ago to hold an advanced academic degree. Instead, they are more likely to have professional experience in communication occupations outside the university.

The paper, "Professionals or Academics? The Faculty Dynamics in Journalism and Mass Communication Education in the United States," is available here.