Dr. Tudor Vlad (left) and Joanna Skrzypiec (right).

Polish Journalist Learns About U.S. Elections, Security Issues, And Media At The University of Georgia

Polish journalist Joanna Skrzypiec spent four days at the University of Georgia in April examining media coverage of elections in the United States, and exploring - from the perspective of global security - the relationship between U.S. and European countries.

She visited with national security experts, a specialist on U.S. and southern politics, and journalism educators and also visited cultural and media sites.

Skrzypiec is a Warsaw-based radio and TV journalist specializing in foreign affairs and the global economy. She hosts two shows on Wirtualna Polska Group, Poland’s largest Internet platform.

She has hosted news bulletins and conducted foreign affairs interviews for TVN24 Business and World Television. As a member of the Polish Radio 1 foreign desk, she spent several years covering the European Union and the post-Soviet states.

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 Transatlantic Media Network fellowship, 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 at the University of Georgia and partnered with CSIS for the visit.

While at the University of Georgia, Skrzypiec met with Dr. Loch Johnson, UGA Regents Professor in the Department of International Affairs.

"Based on a very moderate calculation, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have cost U.S. taxpayers more than two trillion dollars,” Johnson told Skrzypiec, in response to a question about national security. “Had we spent half of this amount in intelligence and in better control of our borders, we would be much safer now.”

Dr. Charles Bullock, Richard B. Russell Professor of political science, told the Polish guest that Hillary Clinton has the best chance to win the presidential elections. “The numbers simply don’t add for the republicans in a country where demographics have changed and will change dramatically.”

In the Grady College, the Polish journalist visited Newsource, the student TV studio, and watched the production of a nightly newscast with Professors David Hazinski and Yvonne Cantrell Bickley, and had a discussion of U.S. media coverage of political issues.

Skrzypiec also had meetings with Dr. Charles Davis, dean of the Grady College, and Dr. Janice Hume, head of the journalism department, to learn about new trends in journalism and mass communication curricula to reflect changes in the industry.

Drs. Lee Becker and Tudor Vlad, director and associate director of the Cox International Center, talked with the Polish guest about the Center's international projects and about alternatives to traditional media that include citizen and community journalism.

At the Center for International trade and Security, a UGA organization that promotes peace and prosperity through programs that focus on the protection of nuclear, chemical, and biological materials, Skrzypiec had a meeting with Dr. Scott Jones, director of the Center.

“Putin’s response to Turkey’s downing of the Russian plane near the Syrian border suggests to me that Russia will not dare to initiate an attack against a NATO member,” Jones told the visitor. “I think some experts tend to overestimate the Russians’ capacity and resources, which have been weakened by the fall of the gas price.”

While in the state of Georgia, the Polish journalist traveled to Atlanta to visit CNN and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.

Skrzypiec started her travels in Lexington, Ky. After her departure from Athens, the Polish fellow was to travel to: Columbia, Mo.; Austin, Texas; Seattle; Portland, Ore.; San Francisco, and Salt Lake City.