J-school: Who needs it?


Are journalism schools/degrees still relevant?

Let’s make it a little more personal. Why are you in j-school?

Mindy McAdams posted a link to a story on Josh Halliday’s blog, titled “Euro CollegeJourn re-cap: Is there a case for bypassing journalism courses right now?”

This article is full of interesting quotes – most of them rather negative and emphasizing the importance of “real world” experience as opposed to sitting in a classroom.

“Well, in my opinion, journalism does not require a vocational education. Your degree is worth nothing if you can’t write or edit. And, I believe these skills are best learnt by doing them. The idea of a ‘journalism school’ is a relatively new one. Many journalists from the previous generation have no formal education. Why has it become a myth that our generation does? Is it just a money-spinner for universities?” – Dave Molloy

That’s nothing I haven’t heard before… But one individual, Adam Westbrook, mentioned media law and said, “That’s the one thing you can’t learn on the job – and it’s the one thing no one will hire you without any knowledge of.”

Good to know.

I can’t conclude this without letting a j-school professor sound off.

“Educating young people who have the potential to be great reporters is a judicious preparation for the day when financial innovation creates demanding multimedia jobs for them, or their own entrepreneurial skills devise ways to make excellent journalism profitable. It is already popular, as millions of visits to the websites of great newspapers and broadcasters prove daily.” – Tim Luckhurst, journalism professor at University of Kent

For another interesting perspective on this issue, check out “Who needs j-school” by Elana Zak.


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