Posted on October 31, 2009
Rethinking journalism education
A new journalism concentration at New York University promises to take an innovative approach to j-school:
Studio 20 expects all applicants to have a keen interest in journalism and improving it, a strong command of written English, a devotion to high standards in reportage and verification, and a familiarity with creative uses of the World Wide Web. It also requires applicants to have obtained competence in at least one of the following three skill sets:
- Capturing audio and editing it, or
- Video recording, production and editing, or
- Web skills (which could be production, design and coding, or Web journalism and blogging).
I found the three divisions of prerequisite know-how especially interesting. I like them.
First, I like it that still photography is not among them — it is not a sufficiently advanced digital skill to quality you for this program.
Second, I like the separation of presentation and data skills (No. 3) from the multimedia reporting skills (No. 1 and 2). Why? because too many folks think teaching “online journalism” means teaching HTML and CSS. What about the act of reporting? That is not done with HTML.
What I disagree with: Including mere “Web journalism and blogging” in No. 3 opens the door to a lot of people who are too scared of technology to succeed in this program, in my opinion. I’ve seen a lot of students who started up a free Blogger blog and barely even know how to add a link, let alone anything more challenging, to their online work.