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Rethinking Journalism Education
 

Rethinking Journalism Education

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Presentation given at the Future of Journalism conference in Cardiff, Wales on Sept. 9/10, 2009

Presentation given at the Future of Journalism conference in Cardiff, Wales on Sept. 9/10, 2009

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    Rethinking Journalism Education Rethinking Journalism Education Presentation Transcript

    • Rethinking Journalism Education [again]
      • The Future of Journalism
      • Cardiff University, Wales
      • September 2009
      • Donica Mensing University of Nevada, Reno
    • Presentation
      • Arguments for change
      • One proposal for change
      • Recent examples
      • Conclusion
    • Basis
      • Dewey, Carey, Rosen, Reese, Zelizer …
      • Teaching and researching online journalism for 10 years
      • Collaborating in developing a new graduate program
      • Reflecting on recent examples
    • Historic Model Newspapers ____________ Radio and TV stations Magazines Web sites Journalism Schools Educators __________ Students
    • Industry-centered journalism education
          • Professionalism
          • Reporting
          • Socialization
    • 1. Professionalism
      • In 1903 Joseph Pulitzer donated $2 million to Columbia University for a school that would
      • “ emphasize the professional significance of journalism”
      • and exclude courses related to advertising, circulation and newspaper management.
    • 1. Professionalism (now)
      • In 2005 the Carnegie Corporation and Knight Foundation pledged $11 million to revitalize journalism education and produce students who are:
      • “ well-trained, well-educated, honest, trustworthy, curious, intelligent people” who will devote their lives to their profession (Carnegie, 2005).
    • Implications
      • Assumes that reformation of journalism depends on individual journalists rather than structural or institutional change
      • Ignores contradictions between professionalism and commercialism, between ideals and practices
      • Implies a barrier between journalists and citizens
    • 2. Reporting
        • “ The reporter” is the idealized form of journalist targeted in j-schools
        • News gathering is the core skill required of nearly all journalism majors regardless of sequence
        • Assessment and success is measured by producing students with skills to succeed in industrial news production
    • Implications
      • Assumes information scarcity is the primary problem to be solved
      • Assumes information is a commodity to be produced and transmitted to a waiting audience
      • Emphasizes independent news judgment, verification and objectivity as primary values
    • 3. Newsroom socialization
      • Many administrators come from industry and conceptualize journalism similarly
      • Many faculty teach ‘best practices’ from the newsroom
      • Most students are required to do internships in industry and are encouraged to participate in professional competitions
    • Implications
      • Reinforces existing practices rather than critical inquiry
      • Stresses mastery over innovation and experimentation
      • Creates a barrier between practitioners and scholars
    • Journalism Education News Industry The Networked Public Geographic communities/ Communities of interest Proposed Model News Ecology
    • 1. Professionalism
      • Develop curriculum that stresses the values of citizenship and professionalism
      • Develop practices based on critical inquiry and public needs
      • Develop ethical criteria relevant in new contexts
    • 2. Reporting
      • Be more explicit about purpose
      • Educate for multiple journalistic roles: filtering, facilitating, moderating, programming, databases
      • Enlarge the definitions of story, news element, coverage, deadline
      • Reflect on, test and publicly evaluate experiments and experiences
    • 3. Socialization
      • Socialize students to working in communities (online and offline)
      • Teach students to value innovation, uncertainty, experimentation
      • Require sophisticated analysis and critical reflection about their own practices
    • Initial examples
      • OurTahoe.org (University of Nevada)
      • Nuestro Tahoe (University of Nevada)
      • Reno Noise (University of Nevada)
      • Albany Today (UC Berkeley)
      • NewsMixer (Northwestern)
    • OurTahoe.org
    • Nuestro Tahoe
    • Reno Noise
    • Albany Today
    • NewsMixer
    • Challenges
      • Difficult to collaborate with disparate groups
      • Difficult for faculty to make community commitments
      • Students want to pursue individualized goals
      • Curriculum schedules inflexible and discontinuous
      • Innovation and experimentation often not rewarded in traditional academic evaluations
    • Conclusion
      • This is a critical moment in the evolution of journalism
      • Journalism educators can play a key role in experimenting, testing and developing new practices and conceptions of what journalism is and could be
      • This work requires that we rethink our own practices within the academy and make our purposes and obligations more explicit
    • Feedback?
      • Donica Mensing ( [email_address] ) @donica
      • http://studentdev.jour.unr.edu/jeducation
      • 2009-2010 University of Tuscia, Viterbo, Italy
      • August 2010, University of Nevada, Reno, US