More takes on journalism schools for the future

In case you missed Poynter’s chat on Monday, “What Do College Journalism Students Need to Learn?”:

* “Advice for journalism job hunters,” at Advancing the Story

* “Shaping the future journalist,” by Marion Geiger at Editors Weblog.

Published in: on March 26, 2009 at 2:28 pm  Comments (1)  
Tags: ,

Thinking on our feet

A common theme of Poynter’s chat Wednesday was about students being able to think on their feet.

But during the chat on  What Do College Journalism Students Need to Learn?” we didn’t get far on how to help them do that.

I’ve read that a factor in creativity is having knowledge that is both broad and deep. Guest speakers and team teaching are helping to build bridges among journalism, technology and business.

One caution I would make is against changing one mold, writing, for another. But reaching across disciplines could also work with other departments.

And multidisciplinary courses or programs might  be increased — such as by issues-oriented offerings with sociology, political science, public health and public administration.

Published in: on March 25, 2009 at 6:19 am  Comments (1)  
Tags: , ,

Integrating digital media throughout J-school

Digital media is becoming a core skill for journalists.

But it is not yet a core skill for their faculty members.

This issue came up in Poynter’s chat on Monday, “What Do College Journalism Students Need to Learn?”

Robert French of Auburn University asked:
“Where would you rank the importance of learning technical aspects like video/audio production, CMS / social network usage (how to use open source platforms to create online communities)? Should programs have this interweaved throughout the curriculum, or only one course? Finally, should faculty be actively involved in emerging digital media networks? blogging? podcasting?”

My answer was:
“Robert, I think all students need to be able to do basic work in at least two media. And it’s unfeasible for most schools to integrate digital media throughout the curriculum. So I’d suggest all students having at least one course. I think all faculty members need some experience with digital media. But for both students and faculty members, there’s still room for different specialties.”

I think everyone else who addressed this disagreed with me about the feasibility of most schools integrating digital media throughout the curriculum.

Possibly we’re just understanding the question differently. I meant how feasible this is to do soon. And by “throughout the curriculum,” I meant “in every course.”

I doubt all professors are ready to do this. Take any representative sample, and see how much of a digital presence they have.

One answer could be to get rid of any faculty members who can’t or won’t integrate digital media.

But they have expertise in other areas. It would be a shame to throw that out.

If that were done, the breadth and total sum of knowledge among the faculty would be sharply diminished.

I think it would be better to start with a more-basic move – such as getting syllabi online and easy to find.

Published in: on March 24, 2009 at 3:07 pm  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , , , ,

How should journalism schools adapt?

On Monday, the Poynter Institute will hold an online chat on What Do College Journalism Students Need to Learn?

It’s especially intended to address changes in the news industry and how J-schools might best adapt.

Amy Gahran, a colleage at Poynter’s E-Media Tidbits, has made many good points about this before. She won’t be able to make the chat, but she laid a good foundation for it at her blog, Contentious.

Some possible discussion questions, mainly about nontraditional topics:
* How much do students already know, and how much does it vary, and are they appropriately challenged throughout the spectrum?
* What should all journalists learn?
* What should all mass media students learn?
* What should some journalism or mass media students know that is often lacking in the curriculum?
* Which media topics, if any, should be encouraged or required of students outside the school?
* With the increasing additions, what should be considered to be dropped or reduced, from either requirements or offerings?
* What might best help educators and their institutions carry out appropriate changes?

Here are some other related links.


* Case studies by Jane Stevens
* “The Innovator’s Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth,” by Clayton M. Christensen and Michael E. Raynor
* “The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More,” by Chris Anderson (book and blog)
* Newspaper Next Blueprint for Transformation, by the the American Press Institute, Innosight and a task force
* Poynter’s Bill Mitchell on Business Models Essential to Journalism Training
* Poynter’s business model section of its Transformation Tracker
* Syllabus for Saving Journalism, by Philip Meyer
* Syllabus for Digital Media & Entrepeneurship, by Dan Gillmoor


* Meatball Wiki: “Meatball is a community of active practitioners striving to teach each other how to organize people using online tools.”
* “The E-Democracy E-Book: Democracy is Online 2.0,” by Steven Clift
* The Online Community Cookbook, Digital Edge Report, by Rich Gordon, from the Newspaper Association of American and the Digital Media Federation
* The Rise of Solutions Journalism, by Susan Benesh, Columbia Journalism Review
* Solution Journalism blog
* Syllabus for Blogging, We the Media and Virtual Communities, by Paul Jones, at the J-school of UNC-CH
* “ We the Media: Grassroots Journalism By the People, For the People,” by Dan Gillmor
* “Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything,” by Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams


* Computational journalism
Georgia Tech — Report on conference in spring of 2008
– Duke University — job post for professor, and article and Q&A about planned program
* “Journalism 2.0: How to Survive and Thrive,” by Mark Briggs, available in book form or free online.
* Reporter’s Guide to Multimedia Proficiency, by Mindy McAdams
* Testable, Measurable Skills We Should Teach in J-School by Mindy McAdams


* Basic Principles of Online Journalism, by fellow Tidbitter Paul Bradshaw
* Digital media resources from the NAA, Newspaper Association of America
* Digital media master’s degree program at the University of Washington program for master of communication
* MIT’s Center for Future Civic Media
* My outline for a college program in civic media