A friend, Helen M, sent me this link to a recent piece in the US online publication, PR Weekly, it talks about how journalism and journalism education are changing in response to the convergence factor of digital technology.
It lists a whole lot of new stuff that journalism educators and students are/should perhaps be doing in the classroom.
If we continue teaching shorthand,where do we find room for new stuff? What do we leave out?
It might be tempting to argue that more practical stuff should be included at the expense of what detractors call “theory”, or “media studies”. But what about journalism theory?
Isn’t there a place in journalism education for an intellectual discussion about the values and meaning of journalism.
To deny space for such discussions is to doom journalism education and the reporters of the future to repeat the same mistakes over and over. Self-reflection is necessary for the news industry to cope with change; so to is a willingness to embrace change.
In particular, as the industry is changing younger reporters will need new and different skills; the definition of who is a journalist is also changing.
This is not necessarily a new idea, I’ve written about it in Communication & New Media (Hirst & Harrison 2007, OUP) in terms of the changing reportorial community.
Now this is an even more pressing issue because of the rise of the “accidental” journalist, not just the “citizen” journalist. Do we ignore this or embrace it?
There has to be room in the journalism curriculum for these issues to be put in front of students and we also have to think of these issues in terms of our current and future research.