“Reform journalism school”

“It’s too late to be training new journalists in the classic mode. Instead, journalism should become a required course, one or two semesters for every graduate. Why? Because journalism like everything else that used to be centralized is in the process of being distributed. In the future, every educated person will be a journalist, as today we are all travel agents and stock brokers. The reporters have been acting as middlemen, connecting sources with readers, who in many cases are sources themselves. As with all middlemen, something is lost in translation, an inefficiency is added. So what we’re doing now, in journalism, as with all other intermediated professions, is decentralizing. So it pays to make an investment now and teach the educated people of the future the basic principles of journalism.” — Dave Winer

2 thoughts on ““Reform journalism school”

  1. I agree that a couple courses of required journalism would help round out a liberal arts student as much as a second language, not to supplant professional journalists but to make people better consumers of the craft. Journalism was decentralized long before the other examples cited by Dave Winer — and it also grew far more specialized (including thousands of trade publications). The work of jounalists today is more to help us understand complex issues than to tell us how to interpret the news. In the global economy, there will always be demand for travel agents and stock brokers, because of the infinite needs and complexities of the marketplace. No different for journalists.

  2. Odd side note: my father went to Iowa State College during the depression, earning a two-year degree then returning a couple of years later for the four-year deal. “Animal Husbandry” was his major (no jokes, please). Anyway, he was required to take a journalism class. I learned this when I was in college, and he pulled out some of his old info and wrote me a long letter about it.

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