Date of Award

12-15-2014

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

School of Journalism and Mass Communications

First Advisor

August E. Grant

Abstract

Rapid developments in technology in recent years have disrupted the media’s traditional role as a main informer for citizens. The changes have challenged journalism educators worldwide, pushing them to innovate and experiment. One purpose of this dissertation is to examine adoption of innovations by journalism educators in Georgia, a small post-Soviet country with partly free media and lack of professional outlets, that has been and still is a beneficiary of Western aid for media development. Employing innovation diffusion theory and the network analysis perspective, this dissertation uses a census of journalism educators and journalism program leaders in Georgia to understand how much innovation is taking place in journalism programs, and examines the effects of journalism educators’ professional network on adoption behavior. The findings of this study add to the knowledge of changes in journalism education in newly democratic countries and can serve as a basis for studying journalism education in other countries with similar media environments that fall beneath the radar of Western aid organizations.

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