In the United States, J-Schools are too expensive when taking into account the economics of the profession. By and large, teaching media skills needs an urgent reinvention.
Journalism models are changing rapidly. But don’t make the mistake of thinking the craft is dying, says media veteran Mark Effron. At J-schools, students demonstrate the “desire to find out what’s really going on,” and the fact they are anxious “to communicate that through vivid language and strong images, gives me hope for their future, and the future of journalism.”
Elon University’s School of Communications merged its print and broadcast programs in 2005, but students were still separated into tracks based on platform. A new course structure does away with that divide, instead emphasizing journalistic standards as the school takes a lead in digital journalism education. “Journalism is, to us, a function,” says Dean Paul Parsons. “It’s delivering news and information to audiences whatever the platform.”
Despite the convergence of crises in professional journalism that have led to mass lay-offs in many newsrooms, the demand for journalism school places remains high, even as debate about the value and legitimacy of university-level journalism education continues internationally.
The model is gaining ground in many journalism schools, but two professors argue won’t help future journalists — or the industry they’re entering — adapt to change.