Dr. Janice Hume (left), head of the Journalism department of Grady College, meets with Leo Mirani, economist magazine editor.

Economist Magazine Journalist Visits Grady College

Economist magazine editor Leo Mirani spent three days at the University of Georgia in late February discussing journalism education and media economics in the United States.

Leo Mirani has been a news editor of the Economist magazine in London since 2015. Previously he was a tech reporter for the Quartz business news site, and earlier an intern and reporter for the Economist in 2011-2012. He holds a three-country master's degree from Denmark, the Netherlands, and the UK in 2010, with a background as a movie, cultural, and social reporter in his native Mumbai, where he also studied journalism and worked for the French news agency AFP.

His program in Athens, organized by the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research, was part of a two-month Transatlantic Media Network fellowship, coordinated by the Atlantic Council in Washington.

The Cox International Center is a unit of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia and partnered with the Atlantic Council for this program.

While at the University of Georgia, Mirani met with Dr. Charles Davis, dean of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, who told the guest that the school has made significant changes in its structure and curriculum to reflect and even anticipate the changes in the industry.

“We merged two departments, Journalism and Telecommunications, to make sure our students learn how to tell the story on a variety of platforms,” Dr. Davis said. “We’ve hired and will continue hiring faculty that have expertise in digital and social media.”

Mirani met with David Hazinski, Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor. Hazinski specializes in digital and broadcast news and is a former NBC correspondent who has helped launch a dozen international networks.

“Though its audiences have declined in the United States, television still is the main money-maker,” Professor Hazinski told the visitor.  “What is important for us is to regain the trust of the public in an era when traditional media is under an unprecedented attack.”

Mirani had a meeting with Dr. Rusty Brooks, director of the International Center of the Carl Vinson Institute of Government to discuss urban development in non-metropolitan parts of the United States.

In the Grady College, the journalist also had meetings with Dr. Janice Hume, head of the Journalism Department, to learn about curricular changes in mass communication education, with Dr. Keith Herndon, director of the Cox Institute for Journalism Innovation, Management and Leadership, to talk about the future of journalism in the digital era, and later he discussed media economics with Dr. Ann Hollifield.

Dr.Tudor Vlad, director of the Cox International Center, talked with the guest about the Center's international projects and about the impact of new communication technologies on U.S. journalism and mass communication education.

“In my travel around America, I have been struck by how warm, open and generous people have been,” Mirani told Dr. Vlad. “This is perhaps one of the world's easiest countries to travel in—no matter where you are, people strike up conversations and are genuinely interested in what you have to say.”