Educating Journalists: A New Plea for the University Tradition
October 15, 2013
“Educating Journalists: A New Plea for the University Tradition,” a report by former journalism school deans Nicholas Lemann of Columbia Journalism School, Jean Folkerts of the University of North Carolina, John Maxwell Hamilton of Louisiana State University, was released today. At 25,000 words, the report is one of the most ambitious single documents published in a generation about journalism education.
Dean Steve Coll hosted the authors at a recorded and live-streamed event on Tuesday, October 15th at 5:00 p.m. EST.
“The debate over journalism education has too often been characterized as a struggle between professionals and academics,” said Folkerts. “We hope this report demonstrates the potential for professionals and educators working together in a university setting to conduct research and develop skills that will create leaders in a changing profession.” The report is funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and was borne out of the Carnegie-Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education.
Based on extensive original research by the authors, “Educating Journalists” is among the most thorough accounts of American journalism history ever written. It focuses heavily on graduate professional programs for journalists, rather than undergraduate programs, and argues that strengthening those programs will strongly enhance journalism education and journalism as a profession. It also argues strongly that journalism should be taught in separate freestanding professional schools in universities. “I hope this report helps focus on combining high academic aspirations with strong professional orientation, which will help move journalism programs to the center of the campus and thus ensure their long term viability as pursuits worthy of higher education,” said Hamilton.
Rather than focusing on the relationship between journalism schools and newsrooms, "Educating Journalists" focuses mainly on the relationship between journalism schools and the universities that house them. “Journalism education, can never be fully successful unless it succeeds in both the academic and professional realms,” notes Lemann. “It must produce significant research and have curriculum with intellectual content, as well as training its students in the latest skills demanded by the job market."