Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Back to Basics

Blog This

“Is journalism education being too carried away by exuberant interest for the latest digital device, its varied applications for breaking news in real-time, and emphasis on digital media production skills? Are journalism schools in fact graduating web technologists, news bloggers, news site designers, desktop publishers and videographers instead of street-smart conscientious journalists? Is the emphasis on training students how to produce and package multimedia products compromising the imperatives of educating students to be more reflective, investigative, ethical and community-oriented story tellers? To what extent have journalism curricula being diluted to adapt to the new student demographics - students who are reading less but more attuned to animated visuals, Facebook, Twitter and hypertexts? How have journalism teaching methodologies and contents changed when students—being digital natives—are unthinkingly relying on the internet for ‘news’ and ‘information’?” . . .

“Are we losing sight of the fundamental function of journalism education? Which is to educate students to become journalists of conscience and integrity, to be responsive and passionate about exposing the disparities, poor governance, political patronage and the many layers of injustices and corruption in their respective communities. This is a prosaic observation, clichéd even. My point is good journalism should not be confused with multimedia delivery, website design, podcasting, blogging and packaging stories.”

—Eric Loo, journalism professor, University of Wollongong (Australia), “Editorial: Back to basics in journalism education amid the techno hype,” Asia Pacific Media Educator 20, 2010.

• Editorial Comment: But the passionate Tweet gets read, and the multimedia storytelling gets heard. I'll read the five-part investigation tomorrow.


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1 comment:

  1. Sorry, Ted, I disagree with your flip-off comment and I strongly agree with Professor Loo of Wollongong (no doubt our Indian names sound funny to them, too...Oklahoma? Tuskegee? Utah, even?)

    If I have to sit still for one more row of talking heads nitpicking the odds on each GOP horse, or endure another “analysis” that tells me zip re the content of whatever they’re supposed to be analyzing and everying about the latest polling, I may throw up all over my screen.

    I swear to God, if FDR had given his “nothing to feah but feah itself” speech today, they’d be surveying how it played among the different Florida ethnics. And nitpicking his accent. And generally distracting all of us from what he was trying to say. (And yes, I’m thinking of most of what I’ve heard so far in “analysis” of Obama’s terrific SoU speech.)

    Am copying this to old friend Phil Meyer at Chapel Hill, who may be largely responsible for the epidemic of poll-based journalism but is completely blameless for its rampant abuse.

    Ann B.