Name Change for Cox Institute Approved

Name Change for Cox Institute Approved

February 06, 2014
Sarah Freeman
Kent Middleton

The University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication has renamed one of its key training and outreach units to the James M. Cox Jr. Institute for Journalism Innovation, Management and Leadership.

The University Council recently approved the change from the original name, the James M. Cox Jr. Institute for Newspaper Management Studies, which was founded in 1990 by legendary journalism professor Conrad Fink.

Charles Davis, dean of the Grady College, said the new name identifies the Cox Institute's focus on innovation, management and leadership as digital technologies transform the organization, practices and management of journalistic enterprises.

“Everything about the practice of journalism, save for its core values, is in the midst of dramatic change,” Davis said. “The James M. Cox Jr. Institute for Journalism Innovation, Management and Leadership gives us the ideal platform for ensuring that our students remain at the forefront of the industries we partner with moving forward.”

For several years the Cox Institute has extended its training, research and outreach well beyond the management of newspapers. The new name embodies that extended mission.

“As the news media have changed in the digital era, so have our programs,” explained Journalism Professor Kent Middleton, who became the Cox Institute's director following Fink's death in 2012. “We honor Conrad's legacy by making certain the institute he created at Grady continues to train the news industry's next generation of leaders.”

Cecil Bentley, the Cox Institute's assistant director, will continue to direct two important programs: the Management Seminar for College News Editors, a week-long summer program for 50 top college editors, and the Betty Gage Holland Award, a national award recognizing excellence in college journalism.

Keith Herndon, a visiting professor of journalism sponsored by the Cox Institute, is directing a new leadership development program for Grady College's top journalism students in partnership with the Poynter Institute, a journalism training center in St. Petersburg, Fla. Additionally, Herndon is working with Mark Johnson, senior instructor of photojournalism, and several industry partners to launch a mobile news lab in Fall 2014. The mobile news lab will provide students with innovative training in newsgathering and storytelling techniques suited for mobile devices.

The Cox Institute for Innovation, Management and Leadership is funded by the Jim Cox Jr. Foundation. James M. Cox Jr. was chairman of Cox Enterprises in Atlanta when he died in 1974.

UGA Grady College
Established in 1915, the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication offers undergraduate majors in journalism, advertising, public relations, digital and broadcast journalism and mass media arts. The college offers two graduate degrees, and is home to the Peabody Awards, internationally recognized as one of the most prestigious prizes for excellence in electronic media. For more information, see or follow @UGAGrady on Twitter.