and it confirmed a bit of what I've had a notion of about journo and higher ed: that something's not getting thru to academia about the importance of knowing about new media. Bryan Murley (who I've corresponded with) says:
“We don’t face the same problems economically that the industry is facing. . .” Murley, who found in a survey of college newspaper advisers that 58.7 percent in 2006, and 53 percent in 2007, thought campus media had not kept pace with the advances in commercial media. “But the industry is requiring reporters to have different skill sets.”
The easiest target to blame are the profs: they don't understand new media. They can't shoot video or do a podcast. They're all newspaper guys who hate bloggers. yadda-yadda-yadda. Yet David Wendelken, an assoc prof of journo at James Madison University, sees there's a bit of student culpability in this. Says Wendelken: "A lot of college students select their medium in high school. When they come onto campus, they’re already a TV person or a radio person or a newspaper person. . ." yep, I've heard this before, and oddly enough, from journo prof friends who *don't* hate bloggers.
So, in some sense, it may be that the people coming into programs have aspirations that are rooted in an old worldview of how the news business works. and maybe they're meeting up with profs who can't challenge that worldview, don't have the tenure to challenge that world view, or really don't want to deal with the hoo-ha they'd get if they challenged that worldview. (I wonder what Mindy McAdams and Dan Kennedy might say about this...hint, hint...)
I can attest a bit to this, based on a conversation I had with a UMass journo student at New England News Forum meeting in the spring. Now, I think Mike's a great kid, but I was a little stunned on his viewpoint of blogs and online interaction. He was a dyed-in-the-wool budding hardcore print journalist, who appeared, to me anyway, to not really have considered what he might have to do with new media once he got a job (and that includes interacting with people.) He'd bought a lot of the line that bloggers are pretty bad folks who distort the news and create echo chambers--esp. when it comes to politics.
So, I worried a bit about Mike--and hoped he'd be going to a good j-school for grad work, and hoping that some news org might actually push him to look at what's going on outside of his j-school classes...
And speaking of j-school classes, I was contacted about two weeks ago by Philip Meyer who's running a grad seminar out at the University of No. Carolina, who on a referral from Jay Rosen, asked me to come down and talk about Assignment Zero--which is an amazing honor considering Meyer's career. In talking with him, though, I found something that I've also found in talking to other pre-corporate owned and independent journo guys: a real desire, and knowledge about, connecting with people! Guys like Meyer, who spent years in the pre-corp trenches, really get how, if journalism's going to survive, it has to start talking with people again--not just observing them from afar, like lower life forms. And part of that talking may involve talking online....as Dan Rubin learned from Blinq....
So it goes...journo education has to move forward and find constructive ways to get the kids to think outside the box. Journo educators and newspaper editors can't rely on demonizing life online and referring to it as a lesser form of journalism as a viable strategy for keeping journalism education pure. It's too late for that. And if the kids don't catch up, they may find themselves outsourced before they even get started.
Journalism, citizen journalism, media, Blogging,