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Are Journalism Schools Becoming Irrelevant?

| August 26, 2010 | 1 Comment
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With the news that the University of Colorado may be shutting down its School of Journalism and Mass Communication, writer Jessica Corry argues that her alma mater — and most journalism schools — “probably never should have existed.”

Her main point:

Journalism isn’t rocket science. You’ve got it or you don’t, and when it comes to becoming a great reporter, students should spend their college years specializing in essential academic areas that will enable them to become experts on history, politics, culture, and economics. Or at minimum, they should focus on developing or adopting innovative approaches to distributing information through technology.

In truth, America’s post-journalism school world could hold government more accountable than the model it is replacing. At minimum, and with the aid of technology, it will transcribe the history of our local communities with more tenacity, authenticity, and transparency than ever before.

She makes some interesting points. Here’s another example of how technology is revolutionizing education. But with the progress of “citizen journalism,” who will teach our budding reporters the critical skills necessary to analyze and dissect the information they Google?

In a way, it’s a skill everyone should know. One of the basic tenants of journalism — how to weigh the validity of information based on its source — is also one that makes us all, journalists or citizens, literate in the digital age.

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  • David Yers

    The question is really one of professionalism – how can we trust the information provided by sources that aren't held to the standards of independent verification etc.? It's fine for citizen journalists to share opinions, but “on the record” has to be on the level. That's what journalism schools are all about – they don't create good writers, they create a responsible and accountable fourth estate.