What I like to say is we like students to leave here with the intellectual dexterity to deal with unending change. That is a core journalistic skill along with learning to verify information and write it in a compelling way.
And so it was the other day when the provost at Indiana University announced she was going to “improve” the university’s award-winning School of Journalism by running it out of Ernie Pyle Hall and mashing it into the College of Arts and Sciences where the scholars in charge will have their way with it. The provost said the journalism education reform we’ve been writing about was part of the reason for change. Yet from all appearances, she knows nothing of our work.
Eric Newton, Knight Foundation. Do Universities Hear the Critics of Journalism Education?
Newton’s piece is an effort to clarify the Knight Foundation’s work on the future of journalism education, which encourages universities to expand their programs, not shrink them, as Indiana University is doing.
Is journalism education getting the message? We’ve been talking about four transformational trends.” Great journalism schools 1. connect with the rest of the university; 2. innovate with digital tools and techniques; 3. master more open,collaborative approaches, and become not just community information providers, but “teaching hospitals” that inform and engage their communities.
Is that message getting through? The first reaction was: We’re doing it! But then schools showed us journalism with no engagement, which is pretty much like hospitals with doctors and medicine but no patients. When we explained, the second reaction was: We can’t do all this! If we teach gizmos, we can’t teach journalism. Wrong again. To teach journalism in the digital age you have to teach both journalism and the digital age — and use modern tools to do it. That’s why the schools that are serious about this are getting bigger, not smaller.
Accompanying the piece is a graphic depicting three layers of journalism education. Schools must do well at the bottom layer in order to climb to the next.
For more, see the report on the Carnegie-Knight Initiative of the Future of Journalism Education.
“Print journalism is not a profession. It’s a job, a knack, a talent. You don’t need a diploma, you don’t need to belong to a professional body like solicitors or accountants do. There’s nothing you can learn in three years studying media at university that you can’t learn in just one month on a local paper.” — Kelvin MacKenzie, former Sun editor
Note: Mr. MacKenzie’s shared his views with Harriet Thurley, a reporter for City University’s XCity Magazine. The story was picked up by The Independent (UK).