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Are Journalism Schools and Programs Unscrupulous Cash Cows?

July 22, 2013

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Are journalism schools and programs unscrupulous, educating and enticing students to enter a dying industry?  I don’t think so, as I have previously posted.

But a prominent journalist and past head of the journalism school at City University of London (CUL) believes they are– especially when selling students the dream of a decent journalism gig with decent pay ASAP upon their graduation.

At a recent bigwig global conference for bigwig global people, the former CUL j-school dean and current World Economic Forum communications managing director Adrian Monck stated, “It is entirely unscrupulous of the academy to look at journalism education as a cash cow through which it can extort money from hopeful young people with the promise of delivery of some form of employment at the end of it.”

Among the problems cited by Monck and a few other journalists and j-school leaders at the conference:

  • Stagnant class syllabi and program curricula.
  • Profs of a certain age who are out of touch with new media realities. (Hmm.)  Back-up quote, courtesy of the University of Toronto journalism program director: ”The professoriate is old compared with the state of the media culture now. People came into the journalism academia just before the digital disruption in the newsroom. As a result they are still teaching a curriculum valued in the 1990s but not now.”
  • Students going the j-route for the wrong reasons and without much connection to the news — “too many arts students trying to do something vaguely respectable.”

Bottom line, as University World News reports about a separate speaker’s sentiments: “There has to be some responsibility taken by journalism schools, especially the new schools, that saw journalism as money, money, money. They offered education void of the academic-side learning.” From College Media Matters.

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