July 11, 2009

Is it time for journalism schools to fade away?

Over on the Online Journalism Review blog, there's a a plea to "don't dismiss journalism schools just because newspapers are in trouble."

Trouble is brewing at Michigan State University as its School of Journalism director's resignation is still sought and its students and advisory panel say they don't know why.

And people aski if journalism school is necessary when we've got the YouTube Reporter Center and the Reuter's style guide available for anyone with an interest.

How journalism schools are changing

Larry Atkins, who teaches journalism at Temple University and Arcadia University, quickly hits how journalism schools and departments are accommodating a growing interest in the schools and the changing realities of the journalism profession in the review blog.

Emerging trends include:
  • getting students in the community (that's new?)
  • social media
  • global journalism
  • interactivity
Consider the source says that nagging voice: Would someone teaching journalism at a college say anything but keep 'em?

How MSU is not changing

Over at Michigan State University, some journalism faculty members are saying plans to revamp the curriculum are on hold while the director issue is settled. The plan to revise was unanimously backed in the spring, so perhaps that reluctance to carry out the desperately needed changes is one reason why the new dean of the College of Communication Arts wants change from the top down.

Is the idea of eliminating the school, proposed in 2004, back on the table?

President (she was provost then) Lou Anna Simon's plan recommended forming a new college - CALM - the College of Communication, Arts, Languages and Media - that would combine all of the departments from the College of Communication Arts and Sciences and some from the College of Arts & Letters.

Perhaps CALM is a way of saving money for the university that needs to find some major ways to save as the Michigan economy dives deeper in the hole.

YouTube can teach you everything

So, with the idea that some folks learn by watching the YouTube Reporting Center can show you how to cover the news via video.

7 videos
more info

3 videos
more info

3 videos
Ethics, Law, and Fact-checking

more info
6 videos
Presenting Your Story
9 hours ago
more info
35 videos
Expert Videos -
more info
6 videos
Interviews and Profiles
more info
5 videos
Citizen Reporting
more info

Then, there's the Reuters Handbook of Journalism that includes sections on standards and values; a guide to operations; a sports style guide and a section of specialised guidance on such issues as personal investments by journalists, dealing with threats and complaints and reporting information found on the internet.

Putting the handbook, the guidance for Reuters journalists , says Dean Wright is Global Editor, Ethics, Innovation and News Standards, was for reasons of transparency, service and geography. He gives a detailed explanation.

Oh heck, maybe what we really do need is this sponsor a journalist idea.

Remember "for just pennies a day you can clothe, feed and shelter newspaper professionals" and that "once payment is made we'll send you the name, bio and snail mail address of the newspaper professional your donations are supporting."

Real journalists are featured in the video, just don't go looking for that Michigan person, OK.

And, before you send your contribution I just ask that you take a look at the issues raised in the Neiman Labs four-parter on how sports journalism is changing now that sports organizations also are the media organizations.
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