Grady College dean travels to Kazakhstan to teach multi-media training

There aren't many people who would travel to Kazakhstan in the middle of winter, but for Grady College Dean Charles Davis, this is a mission for good journalism and not a winter endurance test.

Davis will travel Jan. 9 with two former colleagues from the Missouri School of Journalism, Fritz Cropp and Jim Flink, to teach a weeklong bootcamp called iMedia, focused on teaching multimedia, entrepreneurship and management.  Davis will be leading the discussions on journalism principles and ethics.

Davis became dean of Grady College in July 2013 following a 14-year teaching career at Missouri.  While at Missouri, he taught a study abroad student from Kazakhstan, Dariya Tsyrenzhapova.  They kept in touch over the years and she now works for Open Society Foundation, an organization helping countries to transition from communism.  Tsyrenzhapova enlisted the help of Davis as he assumed his new role at UGA, thus uniting the Missouri School of Journalism and Grady College in the effort.

One of the first things Davis did when he came to Grady College was to meet with Lee Becker, director of Grady’s Cox International Center, to talk about bringing the program together.

“There is always the potential for more international training and the Cox Center is a hub for that,” Davis said. “The opportunity for cultural exchange is the reason we are doing this. We can always learn something while talking with journalists in other contexts and cultures, and we want to take advantage of opportunities to deepen those relationships.”

The sessions are the result of a training grant from the Open Society Foundation. The class is one of five sessions taught in partnership with the Kazakhstan Press Club and Soros Foundation-Kazakhstan (a partner organization of Open Society.)  Twenty early- and mid-career journalists from the region will participate and they will learn how to produce digital stories and other media content, as well as build entrepreneurial skills and expertise.

In addition to the session Davis is teaching, the other training modules include Media Strategy and Management, Data Visualization and News Design, Multimedia II and Media Entrepreneurship.

Date: January 7, 2015
Author:  Sarah Freeman,