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Professors Speak Out About Changes Coming to J-Schools

September 23, 2010

MediaShift follows up on a previous article  on the OurBlook series of interviews with leading journalists and academics to outline some of the skills that future journalists will need.  Here are a few excerpts to pique your interest.

“I think a lot of the schools are being very slow to react, to be honest, I think there are individual pockets within each program where an individual teacher is being very innovative in terms of new media and entrepreneurialism, but curricula as a whole are not changing very quickly.” — Andy Mendelson, chair of journalism at Temple University

“In a nutshell, all journalism majors should be able to perform ‘new media’ skills at a professional standard. New media skills include digital photography, desktop publishing, and online proficiency. However, we encourage good writing skills first and foremost. We also emphasize the importance of being willing to learn new things. The journalism field is ever-changing. The recent growth in social networking is one example of how the field changes very rapidly.” — Mia Moody, journalism professor at Baylor University

“Journalism schools teach very specific skills – writing skills, reporting skills, and with respect to those programs, I think that the knowledge base has to be expanded. The efficiency I see, which is one thing we are trying to address here at my school, is that those skills can be learned in a very short period of time – how to be fair to both sides, how to be objective, how to be balanced. But I think what is really lacking is this knowledge base, for example, about economics, about science, about history. Students don’t have that context anymore, and I think it’s really hurting journalism education. What I think journalism fans are racing to do is keep up with the technology but we’re missing the forest for the trees.” — Mary Cardaras, chair of the Digital Media & Communications Department at the New England Institute of Art. More…

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