So now the can of worms is opened. As expected, newspapers are closing. Many print journalists are inexplicably in shock. Their next paid employment may well include the words, “do you want fries with that?”
And that, truly, is devastating.
But we still have new people entering schools, wanting to be journalists. Play with me here:
Let’s say we have a new intake this year. They’ll be trusting us for the next four years to prepare them for employment. Beyond fast food. And so the question for educators is specific. What are the best journalism schools teaching now? What should they be teaching?
Be specific! I’m not interested in opinions that simply state “they need to be prepared for the web.”
Here’s a few of my views. We need to:
a. Teach the very real and vital aspects of the role of journalism, its values and role.
b. Equip students with these values as paramount, above and beyond the role of the media they work in. We need them to see the media they work within never compromises or changes their values as journalists.
c. Move away from teaching print media with a concentration on newspapers as the standard, and instead move towards the web as the standard media format.
d. Continue to teach content creation for broadcast and radio, and print magazines. And equip every student for a start in any of those formats.
e. In their first semester, teach students about the real possibilities of independent blogging, microblogging, podcasting and vlogging and insist they do all of them.
f. Instill in them all an awareness and practice of newsgathering and research in a new media environment.
What do you disagree with? What is missing?