On July 14, 2022, the James M. Cox Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research welcomed seven journalists from Sri Lanka to Grady College, where they spent the day touring College facilities and taking classes on digital media and journalism in the United States.
The visit to Grady was as a part of the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program’s Media in a Democracy Project.
While at Grady, the group of Sri Lankan journalists listened to lectures and participated in discussions led by Tudor Vlad, director of the Cox International Center, Amanda Bright, director of the Cox Institute Journalism Innovation Lab, Janice Hume, the Carolyn McKenzie and Don E. Carter Chair for Excellence in Journalism and incoming associate dean of academic affairs, and David Hazinski, professor emeritus.
“We were pleased and honored to put together a training program for the Sri Lankan journalists here at Grady College,” said Vlad. “This is an extraordinary time for Sri Lanka, and all my colleagues who contributed to the sessions were aware of the turmoil that the country is going through and by the important role that journalists will play in the following weeks.”
The Grady faculty members led discussions about the responsibility of the media, the need to inform citizens while avoiding incitement, and about the opportunities for journalists to contribute to the process of democratization, Vlad explained.
The visitors, who are managers, editors and producers of newspapers, television stations, radio stations and news websites in Sri Lanka, were also led on a tour through the College, making stops by the Grady Newsource facilities, the Social Media Engagement and Evaluation Suite and elsewhere.
“The topics are not new to us, but the technologies and the approach are. So, it’s really good for us and helps us think differently,” one visiting Sri Lankan journalist explained. “The University and the media school, we don’t have these types of facilities in Sri Lanka, but I’m hoping that younger Sri Lankan students can come here and get this experience.”