The James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research began operations in 1985, with the approval of Dr. Fred Davison, President of the University of Georgia. In 1990, the Center was named for the late James M. Cox Jr., chairman of the Board of Cox Enterprises and a major figure in the communications industry in the United States in the twentieth century.
Since 1990, the Cox Center has been supported by the annual contributions of the Jim Cox Jr. Foundation of Atlanta as a living memorial to James M. Cox Jr.
The Cox Center is a unit of the Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia, one of the oldest and most respected journalism schools in the United States and is fully accredited. The University of Georgia is the country’s oldest land-grant institution, chartered in 1785.
Since its inception, the Center has conducted more than 130 training programs involving countries all over the world, published numerous research and technical reports, and conducted research on a variety of topics related to the practice of journalism, media, and communication.
The Cox Center was created through the initiative of Dr. Al Hester. Dr. Hester was director of the Center until he retired from the University of Georgia in 1997. Dr. Lee B. Becker served as director of the Cox Center from 1997 until his retirement in 2017. Becker brought the Annual Surveys of Journalism and Mass Communication, which provide data on the U.S. journalism labor market. The surveys were conducted at the Center for nearly two decades. Dr. Jooyoung Kim, a Professor of advertising, and Dan Magill Professor in Sports Communications, who founded the Grady Business and Public Communication Fellows Program, is the director of the Center. Dr. Tudor Vlad, previously director, now serves as executive director.