Teaching the teachers

Jonathan Last has lots of suggestions for J-schools.

  • Journalism these days deals more with opinionated journalism and less with objective journalism. The worth of the news is gauged by the eyeballs it can attract, and not by its long-term relevance.

  • And the HeadsUp blog takes him down a few notches:


    Seriously, I’m amazed this bit of tripe made it into the paper. It’s drivel.

  • I hate to sound like a cynic on this one, but as someone who has been a visiting professor of journalism at a major American University for 10 years now, I can tell you one simple truth.

    Students in J schools are following a very clear path set for them, not by educators, but by the people doing the hiring.

    Explaining stories…understanding relationships between economic change and political history…PLEASE.

    Students see what sells and they see that people who will hire them care primarily about what sells.

    We could kill ourselves trying to produce deep thinking journalists for the New Yorker (and in many cases, do). But the students know that they are getting hired for looks, speaking ability (in tv) and writing down to the 25 year old demographic (in newspapers) in feature stories about hip hop music trends.

    Of course I am exaggerating a bit, but not much

    The jobs out there are at CNN Headline News…at the food channel…at comedy central…at MTV.

    They are not at the New York Times and the New Yorker.