Grady professors share research with international scholars at conference in India

Professors from the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication traveled to Hyderabad, India in July to present at the 2014 conference of the International Association for Media and Communication Research.

Lee Becker, Ann Hollifield and Tudor Vlad, in collaboration with Wilson Lowrey from the College of Communication and Information Sciences at the University of Alabama, told international scholars that large-scale curricular reform seems to be a slow and difficult process within journalism and mass communication education, even in the face of a rapidly changing media environment.

“Internal and external factors, such as faculty resistance to new curricular offerings, budget constraints and adoption of accreditation standards, have made some programs less successful in accommodating the demands of external change than others,” they said.

The researchers used data from the Annual Survey of Journalism & Mass Communication Enrollments, conducted in the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research at the University of Georgia. Becker is director and Vlad is associate director of the Cox Center, a unit of the Grady College.  Hollifield is a professor of telecommunications and the Thomas C. Dowden Professor of Media Research at the college.

The paper focused on innovation in journalism and mass communication education in the United States, which the researchers argued was an appropriate venue for study of change in communication education generally because of the long tradition of journalism and mass communication education in the country, because of the scope of the higher educational system, and because of the dramatic changes taking place in the journalism and mass communication labor market in that country.

A copy of the paper presented by Becker, Hollifield, Lowrey and Vlad, titled “Predictors of Technical and Administrative Innovation In Professional Communication Education At Institutions of Higher Education,” is available here.

Usha Raman, who earned her master’s degree and doctorate from the Grady College, was one of the co-conveners of the International Association for Media and Communication Research conference. She is the head of the Department of Communication, University of Hyderabad.

Carolina Acosta-Alzuru, an associate professor of public relations at the Grady College, also attended the conference. She shared her work on telenovelas and the political situation in Venezuela, her native country.

Acosta-Alzuru presented the paper, “Is the Happy Ending in Miami?: Examining the Venezuelan Telenovela Talent Diaspora.” An exploratory study of the Venezuelan talent that migrated to Miami, the paper also contrasts and compares telenovela production culture in Miami and Caracas.

In addition, Acosta-Alzuru was one of the speakers in the special session: Mediating Marginalities: Issues of Gender, where she gave the presentation, “Survival and Transgression of the Cinderella Code: The Representation of Women in Latin American Telenovelas.”  She also moderated the panel “Feminist Media Studies: The Next Generation.”

More than 800 delegates from more than 90 countries around the world attended the IAMCR conference.

Date: August 12, 2014

Contact:  Lee Becker,,  Carolina Acosta-Alzuru,