Reflections on Journalism
and Journalism Education
j-profs are out of date
Journalism professors who insist on teaching
traditional journalism practices and fail to teach about the
changing new media practices in today's newsrooms, took some
heavy criticism at a recent conference. A convention of college
media advisers in the U.S. heard a long list of complaints
from students about very dated advice they had received from
their j-profs. Paul Conley, a journalist and blogger provides
details in his blog posting at the link below. More comments
and reaction can be found at the
Innovation in College Media blog.
defence of j-schools
There's a growing chorus of voices criticizing
journalism schools these days for failing to prepare students
for the dramatic changes happening in newsrooms as they move
to distributing their news online. But in this thoughtful
blog post, Mindy McAdams, who teaches online journalism in
Florida, explains why some of the criticism is unfair. It's
just too easy to blame outdated J-profs, she says, and ignore
just how slow some news organizations have been to recognize
the need for change.
to do with students who cheat
They are a challenge every journalism educator faces at
some point -- students who cut and paste material from stories
on the Internet; fabricate quotes; or pad bibliographies and
source lists. In this thoughtful piece, Alex Gillis, a journalism
instructor at Ryerson, describes his first experience with
cheating students and what he learned from it. He outlines
some of the surprising things he found out about why students
cheat (it's often the best students who cheat in an effort
to get an A) and what can be done to try to stop them. The
article includes links to resources from Canadian universities
that may be helpful to any educator determined to stop their
students from cheating.
educators need to rethink their role
Many award-winning journalists never studied journalism
in university, raising the question whether people who don't
study journalism make better journalists. In an attempt to
explore that idea, Betty Medsger, a leading U.S. journalism
educator and former Washington Post reporter, argues that
journalism educators would be more effective in improving
journalism and journalism education if they became gate openers
to all that universities offer rather than guardians of journalism
as a separate discipline.
wasn't Facebook invented at J-school
An interesting post by Steve Yelvington, a journalist turned
media strategist, who blogs about online journalism. He wonders
why some of the creative new ways of information sharing online
are not being developed by journalism students/faculty/schools.
He asks whether they are all too focused on past practices
rather than on invention and discovery. It's good food for
thought for anyone at J-school.
of principles of journalism education
The World Journalism Education Conference in Singapore adopted
this set of principles in June, 2007.
about the declaration of principles
Some discussion about the World Journalism Education Conferences's
declaration by journalism educators at the RConversation Blog.
Dean defends his revolutionary new journalism curriculum
In this Chicago Magazine article, the Dean of the Medill
School of Journalism, responds to critics who say his new
curriculum sacrifices the principles of journalism for the
principles of marketing. John Lavine has kept his promise
to "blow up" the old curriculum and replace it,
this fall, with one that emphasizes new media and "an
understanding of audience" because, he said, there was
little point in training students for disappearing jobs in
print journalism. He drew much criticism from students, faculty
and journalists who feared the new curriculum would blur the
lines between journalism and public relations. But he responds
that many working journalists and some students are simply
too resistant to change.
More reflections on the declaration at the blog Teaching
need to re-invent themselves to teach students relevant skills
Dan Gillmor, a leading online journalist and advocate of
citizen journalism, offers his ideas about how journalism
schools are not keeping pace with the new demands of the re-invented
world of journalism. He outlines his ideas about what should
be taught instead of the age old courses on Beginning Newswriting.
schools out of date
An article from Insidehighered.com about how journalism
schools are falling behind and failing to adapt to the new
media world. As a result, students are not learning the skills
they need in the new multi-media world of online journalism.
The article is based, in part, on a presentation to the AEJMC's
convention in Washington in August 2007, and is followed by
lots of feedback from students and educators about their experiences
in today's J-schools.
towards a definition of journalism
In the opening to his essay on the education of journalists,
Canadian journalism educator, G. Stuart Adam writes: "Journalism
is made; it doesn't just happen. So the language we use to
see it and teach it must be akin to the language of art. The
language of art encourages students to enter the imagination
of the artist and meditate on how the artist does what he
or she does...I have tried in this piece to create a language
that expresses what I and other journalists are doing as we
work off our palettes."
the future of journalism
"When it comes to teaching convergence, it's no longer
'if' but 'how,'" says this Online Journalism Review piece
based in part on discussions at a Poynter Institute seminar.
For one thing, it's time to realize that "online video
is not TV news." For another, "multimedia storytelling"
requires a new level of respect for the audience.
education in Canada vs. the U.S.
A paper published in Journalism Studies in 2001 that argues
there are striking similarities between the U.S. and Canadian
systems of journalism education, as well as significant differences.
Among the differences are the relatively stronger role of
government in Canada; Canada's greater emphasis on non-university
education; greater curricular differentiation in U.S. programs;
the type of academic unit within which journalism study is
located; and the absence of a national accreditation system
in Canada. The paper is written by Peter Johansen, David H.
Weaver, Christopher Dornan.