Rethinking journalism education

Day 2 of the Future of Journalism conference and some more great papers. In particular a session that was looking at changes in journalism education.

Donica Mensing presented a fascinating paper calling for a rethink of journalism education. Essentially, while she wasn’t saying that journalism education’s link to industry was a bad thing she felt that it was at the expense of linking with the community. By community she was referring to not just geographic communities, but also special interest communities. Her key points were:

  • Teach journalism students to value innovation, uncertainty, experimentation. They should be able to go work at Google.
  • We need to educate for multiple journalistic roles – filtering, facilitating, moderating, programming and databases.
  • We need to enlarge our definition of a story. News element? Coverage? Deadline?
  • Create a curriculum that stresses citizenship as well as professionalism.

So what does all of this mean? Take a look at an example project that Mensing has her students working on. She has students working specific online projects linked to specific communities.

Is this enough to ensure that we are not naturalising students to a newsroom environment that many claim is dying?

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