Is there a future for “journalism education”?

Just saw this Nieman Lab article via a link from its author on Twitter…

Looks like a Thoreau article…

No, voice to text, I said “thorough” article… But Henry David Thoreau didn’t have any fancy major in “opinion writing” or “environmental journalism”, so maybe that opening is appropriate…

Count me as one of the “school newspaper path” reporters, among the categories listed in the article, although 25 years later I spent five years on the campus of a “Journalism & Mass Communication” school because I was interested in the way the internet might change the business.

(I got there too early, and slightly out-of-focus. By the time I finished my dissertation about one way “online news” might work, news websites no longer worked that way. So I started thinking of myself as a historian instead. And I switched my research focus to an era and form of “new media” that would stand still: Radio, 1930-1960.)

But when I was an undergraduate I majored in English, read Thoreau, Emerson and Hawthorne, preferred Twain because he was funnier, stumbled into being editor of a student newspaper, and finally took a couple of Journalism courses from a professor (UConn’s Evan Hill, R.I.P.) who felt his job was primarily to knock the adverbs out of our vocabularies and point us toward a newspaper with a bunch of wise old editors who would teach us the rest of the business.

Now the news industry has been laying off Wise Old Editors for 25 years… (“WOE is us?”) which makes that Nieman article timely, if not exactly a solution. Guess I’ll go read it again.

mild-mannered reporter who found computers & the Web in grad school in the 1980s (Wesleyan) and '90s (UNC); taught journalism, media studies, Web production; retired to write, make music, photograph sunsets & walks in the woods.

Posted in 2021, communication, Education, Journalism, memories, Newspapers, teaching

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