Thursday, February 12, 2009

Creative Destruction in Journalism School

What does it mean to J-School? The most important thing is we need to become intensely digital and promote our relevance.

For all the smug comfort I can muster from the past toward today’s media market, the one area we cannot overlook is the relative short life span of J-School providing a significant role in American journalism. The rise of the Penny Press required no special studies.

The construction of the great Pulitzer and Hearst empires needed no MFAs. And the Golden Age of Radio, then Television, saw little impact from collegians. A little time spent on-line reveals a considerable doubt among the digital natives about the value of journalism school.

Of all the parts of that once relatively stable institution of American journalism, if we are not careful, the J-School could prove to be the most disposable. Our Golden Age – the post-Watergate boom – has faded away.

We must promote our strength. The knowledge base a broad-based liberal arts education provides. A blend of the best practices of the past with an opportunity to experiment with the front edge of communication technique.

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