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A Dying Medium: Newspapers

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Huffington and Drudge are both political machines that have an outspoken agenda.  There isn't anything wrong with that, as long as they are recognized for what they are.  They are not the future of journalism.

 

There are tons of out of work journalists, i just hope that they have not been burned by the industry to the point where they go get jobs outside of it and instead help reinvent the delivery system.

 

It's going to be a painful few years, but afterwards i think we'll emerge with a stronger and better system than we currently have (trophy driven, shock-headline, politically motivated, etc).

 

I just hope that journalism schools are starting to face this reality and are working on what the next step is going to be.

 

Oh, and just because newspapers have been online doesn't mean that they've embraced the medium.

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^ Good distinction. Maybe they haven't really embraced the medium, but I think they know that's where their future lies. But they're not quite comfortable with that because nobody knows how to make it work.

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So I thought this article was interesting, 1) because it's a news aggregator that apparently has figured out to make money on the web, and 2) because I think within this story, you may have ultimately the new model for how news is delivered.

 

I can forsee a future where there are two parties involved, those involved in investigating the news / writing the stories, and those involved in distributing the news. So for instance, the PD investigates / writes stories specifically relating to NE Ohio. Forget national / international stuff. Then it hires a distribution company (i.e. an aggregator) who charges a subscription for its services. The aggregator pools regional, national and international news and other media, and sells it to individual subscribers and provides the links back to the source. The original 'author' gets a cut of the subscription revenue.

 

Play to the comparative advantage. Journalists know how to investigate and write. Aggregators clearly are the model for which news is most commonly distributed on the web. Rather than compete, they 'complete' each other (and I'm trademarking my Johnny Cochranism there.... :lol: )

 

Here's the story

 

http://www.nytimes.com/external/readwriteweb/2009/07/14/14readwriteweb-breaking-news-online-how-one-19-year-old-is-43003.html

 

July 14, 2009

Breaking News Online: How One 19-Year Old Is Shaking Up Online Media

By MARSHALL KIRKPATRICK of ReadWriteWeb

 

Michael van Poppel used to be like a lot of young people, trawling the internet for interesting news about the world. Just like many others have considered doing, he created a place where he could post the most interesting news he finds, as fast as he can. Today he's one of the most-watched movers and shakers in online news media - and he's not yet twenty years old.

 

 

 

Copyright 2009 ReadWriteWeb. All Rights Reserved

 

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I don't see how this changes much of the discussion here. Other aggregators ar making money on the Web, too (eg, Huffington Post). The issue isn't aggregators. The key is how to make newsgathering and writing profitable. Newspapers have been aggregators for centuries -- aggregating local stories from their staffs, national and international news from wire services, comics and entertainment news from features syndicates, advertisements from local businesses. The advertisements subsidized the other activities.

 

van Poppel is doing interesting stuff, but he hasn't figured out how to pay for a worldwide network of original reporting.

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van Poppel is doing interesting stuff, but he hasn't figured out how to pay for a worldwide network of original reporting.

 

I don't know who's making what on the web, candidly. The benchmark for what is "successful" vs what's "profitable" is very different.

 

That said, this model seems pretty simple and straight forward, and you're right, this isn't re-inventing the wheel. It's basically a sum up of what we've spoken about.

 

It's not up to VanPoppel, or any other aggregator, to pay for global level reporting. There will be news creation agencies that supply original news content / reporting at different levels (national, local, global, bloggers, etc.). Much like a manufacturer of goods will do, the news creator will have to likely sign deals with multiple distributors of their contents. How they get paid is up in the air (do they get a cut of % of distributor's ad/subscription revenue, do they get paid per piece, etc.). But basically, their customer is the distributor / aggregator. Stop trying to sell directly to the public. Maybe the largest news agencies can/will do that, but for most the economies of scale are on the side of the aggregators. It's then up to the aggregators to drive the eyeballs to their sites, and ultimately to the news agencies' sites. The ability to do that will lie in their ability to provide a quality mix of content and market that product to both potential subscribers and potential advertisers.

 

Meh, I don't know. I'm no master of this industry. I just thought I saw a glimmer of a solution here.

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van Poppel is doing interesting stuff, but he hasn't figured out how to pay for a worldwide network of original reporting.

 

I don't know who's making what on the web, candidly. The benchmark for what is "successful" vs what's "profitable" is very different.

 

That said, this model seems pretty simple and straight forward, and you're right, this isn't re-inventing the wheel. It's basically a sum up of what we've spoken about.

 

It's not up to VanPoppel, or any other aggregator, to pay for global level reporting. There will be news creation agencies that supply original news content / reporting at different levels (national, local, global, bloggers, etc.). Much like a manufacturer of goods will do, the news creator will have to likely sign deals with multiple distributors of their contents. How they get paid is up in the air (do they get a cut of % of distributor's ad/subscription revenue, do they get paid per piece, etc.). But basically, their customer is the distributor / aggregator. Stop trying to sell directly to the public. Maybe the largest news agencies can/will do that, but for most the economies of scale are on the side of the aggregators. It's then up to the aggregators to drive the eyeballs to their sites, and ultimately to the news agencies' sites. The ability to do that will lie in their ability to provide a quality mix of content and market that product to both potential subscribers and potential advertisers.

 

Meh, I don't know. I'm no master of this industry. I just thought I saw a glimmer of a solution here.

 

You're not far from the truth.  Large media giants with print, radio, tv, cable distribution channels will always come out on top

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I've been saying this for years...

 

 

Close the J-Schools

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Shocking news from the halls of academia: Forbes reported earlier this year that enrollment in graduate journalism schools is booming. These kids are paying upwards of $70,000 (the cost of Columbia's J-School, including living expenses) for a ghost's chance of landing a job, at pitiful pay, in an industry that is rapidly collapsing. What's going to be the next hot field in graduate study? Blacksmithing? Bloodletting? Steamship design?

 

I don't meant to offend anyone from the noble field of steamship design, where there is actually a lot to learn. Journalism is not a profession like engineering, medicine or even law. You can pick up most media skills on the job, or with a few hours of instruction. If you screw up, nobody dies, and nothing collapses. This is why so many — perhaps most — journalism pros have built successful careers without touching J-school, and why many of them considered a J-degree a dubious credential even in the field's heyday.

 

Most J-school enrollees know this already: They go for the "contacts" thought to be essential in a competitive field. This made sense a few years ago. These days, it's like boarding the Titanic in hopes of meeting the captain. Many of these "contacts" are old-media refugees who made the desperate leap onto J-school faculties in response to buyouts or layoffs. Who are they gonna call when Johnny wants a job? And with all due respect to these good folks — for I, too, love old-school journalism — if their purpose is really to teach, are these bitter-enders really the folks we want teaching our next generation of media professionals?

 

If I asked you to pay $70,000 to get ahead in some other glamorous, extremely competitive, fairly non-technical profession — say, modeling — you might call me a charlatan. But journalism has become ensconced as an academic discipline at otherwise respectable institutions. Journalism is connected to a social mission. These are good things for J-school deans. Now that the industry is headed off a cliff — leaving them in charge of vocational schools without a vocation — all they have left is the school's imprimatur, the social mission, and — oh yeah — the glamour that keeps students coming through the door. Here's Columbia J-School dean Nicholas Lemann, explaining to Forbes the bewildering increase in applications: "I've never met a single person in 35 years who went into journalism out of pure economic reason."

 

Maybe a small-town newspaper editor making an offer to a job applicant would feel justified using that line. At least he's offering a job, if a low-paying one. Lemann, however, is hawking an outdated Rolodex with a $70,000 price tag. What Lemann is really saying is this: "We don't promise a well-paying job — or even a job at all. But they're paying us money to come here. What do you expect us to do?"

 

Here's what you can do: Close down. At the least, J-school deans, you should slash your enrollments. How much? Simple: Assess the degree to which the profession has shrunk, and then reduce your class size accordingly. How else can you assure the media world that you're not just flooding the market with new blood, eager to do the job of laid-off workers at lower pay?

 

Think you still have a role to play in the ever-changing media landscape? Great. Go forth and teach workshops in copyediting, camerawork, graphic design, the business of publishing, even journalistic ethics. Teach them at night or on weekends, and charge a grand or so for each. That will make them accessible to the hausfrau bloggers, the go-go entrepreneurs, and the neighborhood activists who will shape our media future. That will professionalize the media, if that's what you care to do.

 

Do not fill up two years of anyone's time with bush-league "news services" (Oh boy! A clip in The Daily Supplement!) or mandatory classes in media history, communications theory or journalism philosophy. Do not charge so much money to walk through the door that the program is open only to the rich, the idle, or the financially illiterate. That's not a journalism school; that's a gold-plated welfare program for your old newsroom buddies, built on the backs of starry-eyed naïfs.

 

I resisted J-school for several years as I pursued a career in newspapers. Finally, in 2003, I accepted an offer to study business journalism on fellowship. I took half my classes at the business school. The B-schoolers were passionate, driven, and excited about their future; the J-schoolers seemed timid, desultory, and aimless. At the J-school, the prizewinners whose names had lured students to the program were indulged with classes on topics with no practical career use. Meanwhile, the B-schoolers learned how to boost productivity and adapt to changing markets.

 

It dawned on me that the new business models that may save journalism were much more likely to come from the business school than the journalism school. At times I felt like closing down the J-school and sending most of those kids straight across campus, to the shiny new B-school.

 

Richard Sine spent a dozen years at newspapers before turning freelance (by choice, not by layoff). He writes about business and personal finance for magazines such as Men's Health and corporate clients such as Fidelity and UPS.

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Yeah, I think that makes sense, and journalism isn't the only field that we're pumping out too many grads in relative to the job opportunities.

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I don't meant to offend anyone from the noble field of steamship design, where there is actually a lot to learn. Journalism is not a profession like engineering, medicine or even law. You can pick up most media skills on the job, or with a few hours of instruction. If you screw up, nobody dies, and nothing collapses.

 

Absolutely. You don't need an unpaid internship to do the job. You just devalue the entire industry by doing so. The unpaid internship is just slavery for rich kids (thus not something the best and brightest can do, but only the wealthiest), and it's the ultimate conglomerate's wet dream- crazy J school kids who will do two or three internships for free in hopes of "getting their foot in the door". Why pay anyone jack when there are thousands of college kids willing to do it for free? The interns are totally blind to that reality. Employers only pay what they have to. It's called Capitalism 101.

 

And it's not like this is fun, easy-going work anymore. The stress levels, pressure, speed, and cut-throat attitudes are through the roof in most newsrooms. It's never been this bad.

 

It dawned on me that the new business models that may save journalism were much more likely to come from the business school than the journalism school. At times I felt like closing down the J-school and sending most of those kids straight across campus, to the shiny new B-school.

 

Every journalism school needs to close/downsize, period. Shut down Scripps/Fox Newsroom, shut down Walter Cronkite, shut down Newhouse, shut down NYU, shut down Northwestern, shut down Florida, etc., etc., etc. Many of these kids largely lack creativity since it's such a dry medium. The dryness is why it's dying. Much of these newer generations find traditional news boring and don't care about it, thus the industry will die out. If you're not replacing audience, you don't stand a chance.

 

"I've never met a single person in 35 years who went into journalism out of pure economic reason."

 

Exactly what I'm saying. It's sadly become a major for rich kids who have family foot the bill while they work for free at their internships. There are tons of kids who literally have their parents pay for rent in Manhattan, DC, and Chicago while they work for free hoping they'll get a job someday (some do, most don't). If you're going to work for free, at least do it close to home to save on rent. Truthfully, you can learn more in markets like Cleveland, Toledo, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Columbus, and Cincinnati than you can in New York. Hell, even Fort Wayne, Flint, or Erie aren't bad places to start out. Medium and smaller markets have always been better places to gain useful experience, though they don't pay either. This is why the industry sucks. The most creative, innovative people in the world are scrappers. They're not the kind of people who can afford to work for free while throwing tens of thousands of tuition dollars down the sh!tter. Thus, the best, brightest, and most innovative students probably don't major in journalism. They take their talents elsewhere where they can actually dream of making enough money to survive. This industry went to hell long before the depression started.

 

This is why so many — perhaps most — journalism pros have built successful careers without touching J-school, and why many of them considered a J-degree a dubious credential even in the field's heyday.

 

Journalism school = bartending school, but worse. In the real world, no one gives a sh!t about a fancy document that says you learned a craft. And unlike bartending where there are lots of decent-paying jobs, there are no decent-paying jobs in news anymore. The kids are insane. Again, it's just not a major a person of modest means can put themselves through, and that's why there's a serious disconnect between the news industry and their audience. Many of the very people they're trying to reach out to have no voice in the media.

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This is not a paper, but the Seattle paper is probably doing the same thing -- allowing comments on a death story.  The hecklers can't control themselves.  Newspaper comments sections are totally useless, and the lack of moderation or mis-moderation is the problem.  My guess is that they let the masses go nuts so they can get as many hits as possible, to help their web traffic stats. 

 

http://www.king5.com/topstories/stories/NW_072809WAB-AP_pedestrian-killed-light-rail-JM.84ba5895.html

 

 

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I've been saying this for years...

 

 

Close the J-Schools

digg stumble reddit del.ico.us

Read More: J-School, Journalism, Journalism School, Media, Media News

 

 

Be the First to Submit

This Story to Digg

Buzz up!

Get Breaking News Alerts

 

never spam

Share Print Comments

Shocking news from the halls of academia: Forbes reported earlier this year that enrollment in graduate journalism schools is booming. These kids are paying upwards of $70,000 (the cost of Columbia's J-School, including living expenses) for a ghost's chance of landing a job, at pitiful pay, in an industry that is rapidly collapsing. What's going to be the next hot field in graduate study? Blacksmithing? Bloodletting? Steamship design?

 

I don't meant to offend anyone from the noble field of steamship design, where there is actually a lot to learn. Journalism is not a profession like engineering, medicine or even law. You can pick up most media skills on the job, or with a few hours of instruction. If you screw up, nobody dies, and nothing collapses. This is why so many — perhaps most — journalism pros have built successful careers without touching J-school, and why many of them considered a J-degree a dubious credential even in the field's heyday.

 

Most J-school enrollees know this already: They go for the "contacts" thought to be essential in a competitive field. This made sense a few years ago. These days, it's like boarding the Titanic in hopes of meeting the captain. Many of these "contacts" are old-media refugees who made the desperate leap onto J-school faculties in response to buyouts or layoffs. Who are they gonna call when Johnny wants a job? And with all due respect to these good folks — for I, too, love old-school journalism — if their purpose is really to teach, are these bitter-enders really the folks we want teaching our next generation of media professionals?

 

If I asked you to pay $70,000 to get ahead in some other glamorous, extremely competitive, fairly non-technical profession — say, modeling — you might call me a charlatan. But journalism has become ensconced as an academic discipline at otherwise respectable institutions. Journalism is connected to a social mission. These are good things for J-school deans. Now that the industry is headed off a cliff — leaving them in charge of vocational schools without a vocation — all they have left is the school's imprimatur, the social mission, and — oh yeah — the glamour that keeps students coming through the door. Here's Columbia J-School dean Nicholas Lemann, explaining to Forbes the bewildering increase in applications: "I've never met a single person in 35 years who went into journalism out of pure economic reason."

 

Maybe a small-town newspaper editor making an offer to a job applicant would feel justified using that line. At least he's offering a job, if a low-paying one. Lemann, however, is hawking an outdated Rolodex with a $70,000 price tag. What Lemann is really saying is this: "We don't promise a well-paying job — or even a job at all. But they're paying us money to come here. What do you expect us to do?"

 

Here's what you can do: Close down. At the least, J-school deans, you should slash your enrollments. How much? Simple: Assess the degree to which the profession has shrunk, and then reduce your class size accordingly. How else can you assure the media world that you're not just flooding the market with new blood, eager to do the job of laid-off workers at lower pay?

 

Think you still have a role to play in the ever-changing media landscape? Great. Go forth and teach workshops in copyediting, camerawork, graphic design, the business of publishing, even journalistic ethics. Teach them at night or on weekends, and charge a grand or so for each. That will make them accessible to the hausfrau bloggers, the go-go entrepreneurs, and the neighborhood activists who will shape our media future. That will professionalize the media, if that's what you care to do.

 

Do not fill up two years of anyone's time with bush-league "news services" (Oh boy! A clip in The Daily Supplement!) or mandatory classes in media history, communications theory or journalism philosophy. Do not charge so much money to walk through the door that the program is open only to the rich, the idle, or the financially illiterate. That's not a journalism school; that's a gold-plated welfare program for your old newsroom buddies, built on the backs of starry-eyed naïfs.

 

I resisted J-school for several years as I pursued a career in newspapers. Finally, in 2003, I accepted an offer to study business journalism on fellowship. I took half my classes at the business school. The B-schoolers were passionate, driven, and excited about their future; the J-schoolers seemed timid, desultory, and aimless. At the J-school, the prizewinners whose names had lured students to the program were indulged with classes on topics with no practical career use. Meanwhile, the B-schoolers learned how to boost productivity and adapt to changing markets.

 

It dawned on me that the new business models that may save journalism were much more likely to come from the business school than the journalism school. At times I felt like closing down the J-school and sending most of those kids straight across campus, to the shiny new B-school.

 

Richard Sine spent a dozen years at newspapers before turning freelance (by choice, not by layoff). He writes about business and personal finance for magazines such as Men's Health and corporate clients such as Fidelity and UPS.

 

This article is hilarious!

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The question I think is whether one needs specifically trained journalists or rather more broadly trained researchers and writers that aren't geared toward a specific industry.

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Don't you still need journalists to write on line articles for publications?

 

We never needed trained journalists. The best journalists weren't educated as journalists.

 

The concept of J-school is relatively recent and even then, not indicative of anything other than unpaid internships. Plenty of people are in the industry without journalism degrees. Again, it's equivalent to bartending school.

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It doesn't matter how good of a writer you are; you have no voice. Everything you write gets manipulated by your editor if you work for a major publication.

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It doesn't matter how good of a writer you are; you have no voice. Everything you write gets manipulated by your editor if you work for a major publication.

 

Prove it!  I strongly disagree with that.  I personally feel you crossed the line without knowing how a major publication works.

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The question I think is whether one needs specifically trained journalists or rather more broadly trained researchers and writers that aren't geared toward a specific industry.

 

Writing is a skill, and one that needs to be honed over time. Investigating stories is also a skill. The best journalists are ones that can merge those two skills together. I would imagine (not being a journalist myself) that someone looking to make a splash in the industry would benefit from training in those two areas. How that takes place may be up for debate. Should it require an expensive 4 year degree, or maybe should that training take the place of an apprenticeship where you work with existing journalists, like tradespeople do? Maybe some hybrid of formal education and in the field training makes the most sense.

 

That's not up to me the reader to decide, although it probably has an impact on the quality of product that paper are putting out

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As someone with a master's degree in journalism (which, with a buck or so, will get me a mediocre cup of coffee), I find all this discussion about journalism schools to be silly. Journalism schools are no better and no worse than schools in other diciplines -- for example the business schools that have produced wise titans, but also produced the morons who turned Wall Street into a flashy casino and screwed up Main Street and the rest of the country in the process, doing far more damage than any journalism school ever did.

 

Journalism requires curiosity, broad general knowledge of a lot of things, and decent writing ability -- and the ability to write in a journalistic style that is clear and succinct. You can learn it on the job, but newspapers don't want to do remedial training the way they used to, so newspaper job applicants are expected to already have those skills, and that's why probably a large majority of reporters now come from journalism schools.

 

That said, I've been a critic of the way journalism schools do things, and I've often advised aspiring journalists to study a lot of things -- major in English (as I did as an undergrad) or History, to take a lot of courses in Political Science, Economics, Business, etc. But I also urge them to take journalism courses -- to learn basic newswriting, and to get experience on their college paper.

 

As for the comment earlier that "The best journalists weren't educated as journalists," I'd like to see some journalistic examination of that. Look at the Pulitzer Prize winners of, say, the last decade and then find out how many took college journalism courses. Or take whatever standard you use to define "the best journalists." My guess is that you'll find the vast majority were educated as journalists. Maybe I'm wrong. But the statement seems to be a sweeping tirade with no basis in fact. A good journalist would be trained to find the facts before making such a statement.

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We never needed trained journalists. The best journalists weren't educated as journalists.

 

The concept of J-school is relatively recent and even then...... it's equivalent to bartending school.

 

Again, the sage from Ohio University shares his wisdom!

 

NORTHWESTERN:  Since 1921, Medill has been recognized worldwide as a jewel at one of the nation’s elite universities. At Medill, young men and women are shaped for the successes they achieve in journalism and the Medill-invented field of integrated marketing communications. Journalism students learn their craft on the streets of Chicago and Washington, D.C., and marketing students are taught through projects for real-world clients.

 

COLUMBIA:  As the Journalism School approaches its 100th birthday, it embraces the information technology revolution but holds fast to Joseph Pultizer's founding principles: to educate ethical journalists and uphold standards of excellence.

 

 

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We never needed trained journalists. The best journalists weren't educated as journalists.

 

The concept of J-school is relatively recent and even then...... it's equivalent to bartending school.

 

Again, the sage from Ohio University shares his wisdom!

 

NORTHWESTERN:  Since 1921, Medill has been recognized worldwide as a jewel at one of the nation’s elite universities. At Medill, young men and women are shaped for the successes they achieve in journalism and the Medill-invented field of integrated marketing communications. Journalism students learn their craft on the streets of Chicago and Washington, D.C., and marketing students are taught through projects for real-world clients.

 

COLUMBIA:  As the Journalism School approaches its 100th birthday, it embraces the information technology revolution but holds fast to Joseph Pultizer's founding principles: to educate ethical journalists and uphold standards of excellence.

 

 

 

LMAO!

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As for the comment earlier that "The best journalists weren't educated as journalists," I'd like to see some journalistic examination of that. Look at the Pulitzer Prize winners of, say, the last decade and then find out how many took college journalism courses. Or take whatever standard you use to define "the best journalists." My guess is that you'll find the vast majority were educated as journalists. Maybe I'm wrong. But the statement seems to be a sweeping tirade with no basis in fact. A good journalist would be trained to find the facts before making such a statement.

While the Pulitzer is the big prize in Journalism, i've heard a lot that it's also the bane of the field.  Basically journalism is tossed out in pursuit of that prize and a lot of stories and core function in the newsroom is lost to big juicy headlines.

 

I don't think that J-schools should be closed entirely.  The academic pursuit of advancing journalism could help now in these dark ages.  it's pretty clear that the companies themselves aren't coming up with solutions to how to deal with this brand new-no one could have seen it coming-internet.  :wink:

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^ That's why I said Pulitzer or "whatever standard you use to define 'best journalists.' " I don't think Pulitzer projects are bad journalism, but they often rob resources from important workaday journalism in pursuit of a prize that may benefit the newspaper more than the community.

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Whether or not most of/any of today’s “journalists” went to journalism school is beside the point, and has been for years (and my guess is that most of the staff at major newspapers, especially the NY Times and Wash. Post, are Ivy Leaguers who never spent a day in J-school–-since they don't exist in the Ivy League--with the exception of Columbia as a grad program--but worked on their respective college newspapers). The fact is that the profession no longer exists as it once did, and sadly probably never will again. We wonder why traditional newspapers are dying. Yes, it’s partly attributable to the internet; but when virtually the entire “mainstream” media abandons its responsibility to vet our presidential candidates and becomes a giant PR machine gleefully advocating for one side like a bevy of screeching, bubble-headed cheerleaders with pasted-on smiles mindlessly singing trite praises, kowtowing and cartwheeling before the big game, with not even a pretense of a scintilla of objectivity (!) as it did in the last election, it's all over. Little wonder the public is abandoning their product in droves.

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As for the comment earlier that "The best journalists weren't educated as journalists," I'd like to see some journalistic examination of that. Look at the Pulitzer Prize winners of, say, the last decade and then find out how many took college journalism courses. Or take whatever standard you use to define "the best journalists." My guess is that you'll find the vast majority were educated as journalists. Maybe I'm wrong. But the statement seems to be a sweeping tirade with no basis in fact. A good journalist would be trained to find the facts before making such a statement.

 

The comment was clear opinion, thus needs no facts to back it up. What I wrote about "best journalists" can not be measured by any real metric, especially because we know awards many times come at the expense of good journalism. I'll just say good journalism is a lot more about people skills than writing skills...it takes guts to actually make a difference in the world.

 

My comment is aimed at arguing the best kids at any university don't major in journalism, because they actually want to make enough money to survive when they graduate. Only a fool would pick such a major these days. Trust me, I can give you a laundry list of Scripps majors who have never worked for a newspaper or news station (which is fine, they're probably making more money than we are). The industry has gone to hell because it quit caring about research, investigation, etc. and cared more about flashy awards and shallow human interest stories. There's a reason the Iraq war was allowed to happen with little resistance. Our news media failed to do its job.

 

The future used to be television, then that went to tabloid hell and is dying. Now the future is internet but there's not the money there used to be. Basically, I'd argue no major is more dangerous than journalism. The median incomes say it all. I hate to see more kids pick this major while the job market for it shrinks. If the schools don't shut down, they should at least cut back. But you see, colleges are in the business of making money, hence why you have schools like OU expanding their operation because there are always more kids wanting to do it than can be admitted. The competition is the fiercest of any major at the school. And then in the real world, they find out they should have majored in PR.

 

Yes, it’s partly attributable to the internet; but when virtually the entire “mainstream” media abandons its responsibility to vet our presidential candidates and becomes a giant PR machine gleefully advocating for one side like a bevy of screeching, bubble-headed cheerleaders with pasted-on smiles mindlessly singing trite praises, kowtowing and cartwheeling before the big game, with not even a pretense of a scintilla of objectivity (!) as it did in the last election, it's all over.

 

BINGO. No one has faith in the news media anymore, nor should they. All the Pulitzers and AP awards in the world can't win back that trust. That's why the industry is doomed. Granted, I'm speaking from television news which is much shallower and more concerned with image than newspapers are, but still, the trickle down degradation is real. People who never worked in a newsroom have no idea how bad the industry has gotten.

 

As someone with a master's degree in journalism (which, with a buck or so, will get me a mediocre cup of coffee), I find all this discussion about journalism schools to be silly.

 

The question is, do you work in the news industry? There's a pretty big disconnect between J-school and reality. A lot of journalism majors these days think they'll walk into jobs making 40k and have health insurance. For most of them, no way, no how.

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We never needed trained journalists. The best journalists weren't educated as journalists.

 

The concept of J-school is relatively recent and even then...... it's equivalent to bartending school.

 

Again, the sage from Ohio University shares his wisdom!

 

NORTHWESTERN:  Since 1921, Medill has been recognized worldwide as a jewel at one of the nation’s elite universities. At Medill, young men and women are shaped for the successes they achieve in journalism and the Medill-invented field of integrated marketing communications. Journalism students learn their craft on the streets of Chicago and Washington, D.C., and marketing students are taught through projects for real-world clients.

 

COLUMBIA:  As the Journalism School approaches its 100th birthday, it embraces the information technology revolution but holds fast to Joseph Pultizer's founding principles: to educate ethical journalists and uphold standards of excellence.

 

NEWS FLASH, only recently have journalism degrees been required for jobs in this field (and you can still get jobs without one with the right talent or looks). They never used to matter. Only a handful of schools offered the major and now a plethora do since there's a lot more demand from kids for it, but not demand in the job market. Many people are attracted to journalism mainly because of image or because it seems like a "fun" job. They think it's "cool" or a way to "stick it to the man" (when in reality, "the man" will be completely sticking it to them). Or maybe they're just attracted to all the hot chicks? Certainly job security and money can't be a motivation. And don't even get me started on broadcast journalism...

 

The concept of journalism degrees at every mom and pop school in the country is relatively recent, and so is the listing of job ads requiring journalism degrees. In reality, these are skills best learned by doing, not studying. You can't teach someone how to grill a politician or get people to open up. It's much easier said than done.

 

My own proposal is simply a concept known as "Journalism Hell Week". That's probably the best way to prepare to work under the pressure and deadlines of the modern newsroom (whether paper, TV, etc.). Round up these kids and see how long they last. The ones who make it without going batsh!t get the job. I'm soothsaying all over this shit.

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We never needed trained journalists. The best journalists weren't educated as journalists.

 

The concept of J-school is relatively recent and even then...... it's equivalent to bartending school.

 

Again, the sage from Ohio University shares his wisdom!

 

NORTHWESTERN:  Since 1921, Medill has been recognized worldwide as a jewel at one of the nation’s elite universities. At Medill, young men and women are shaped for the successes they achieve in journalism and the Medill-invented field of integrated marketing communications. Journalism students learn their craft on the streets of Chicago and Washington, D.C., and marketing students are taught through projects for real-world clients.

 

COLUMBIA:  As the Journalism School approaches its 100th birthday, it embraces the information technology revolution but holds fast to Joseph Pultizer's founding principles: to educate ethical journalists and uphold standards of excellence.

 

NEWS FLASH buddy, only recently have journalism degrees been required for jobs in this field (and you can still get jobs without one). They never used to matter. Only a handful of schools offered the major and now a plethora do since there's a lot more demand from kids for it, but not demand in the job market.

I think you're right about this. As I mentioned in my previous post, the top papers probably hire Ivy League grads--(again, no formal J-school training)--a matter of the elite taking care of the elite. I remember my brother had a friend from high school who went to Princeton and got a job at the Wall Street Journal without even graduating (granted, this was over 30 years ago). But this type of dubious formal "training" for journalism apparently has parallels in business. The concept of an MBA was largely unheard of until a few decades ago (I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong). It was always the top grads from Harvard, etc. who got the top Wall St. jobs, but somehow the idea of getting a master's in business admin took hold--and voila!--it became a big business unto itself. Gee, and how has that panned out? Some of the biggest crooks, fools and bunglers who have decimated our economy have...yes!...MBA's from some of the top business schools in the world--so goes the "best" and the "brightest." lol

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>schools like OU expanding their operation

 

This is a real dilemma for OU, since the Scripps school is the one thing it was really known for.  Also, VisCom is in trouble since the photojournalism jobs have disappeared.  Also, there is a stigma against portraits and wedding photography in VisCom, but that's where the real money's always been and always will be.  I used to work with a woman charging $4,000 per wedding, paying her assistant $600/wedding out of that haul. That's the highest I've heard of in Ohio.

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^Weddings and portraits have always been where the money's at, even in the era when photojournalism payed "good" money. I'm thinking of starting my own business if our company folds. For a lot of people, getting laid off from their jobs in news can be a huge blessing. They realize they can make a lot more money doing other things.

 

This is a real dilemma for OU, since the Scripps school is the one thing it was really known for.

 

Other than partying! :lol: It is true though. The only "good" thing OU is known for out in the real world is the Scripps College of Communication.

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The question is, do you work in the news industry? There's a pretty big disconnect between J-school and reality. A lot of journalism majors these days think they'll walk into jobs making 40k and have health insurance. For most of them, no way, no how.

 

Before I got the masters at OSU, I spent 10 years with newspapers and wire services. As a 3rd generation news reporters, I had no illusions about the pay and benefits, and started my first news job at a bit over $6,000 a year. After the masters, I spent another 15 years as a reporter.

 

I'm not necessarily a big fan of J-schools. I don't believe a J-degree is essential to a reporting career (I did not have a J-degree my first 10 years in the business), but I believe some journalism education is very useful to a prospective reporter (and to a prospective blogger). In my master's program, I didn't give a hoot about the J-degree. I wanted to focus on the non-J courses and on the investigative-reporting training from the director.

 

The director of my masters program 20 years ago is now in his 80s and still involved as a newspaper consultant/writing coach. He was the product of a journalism school in the 40s, and in his 60-year career has been with newspapers, television, public radio and academia.

 

I can look at some of the things that go on in J-schools and roll my eyes and chuckle. They're silly, but not dangerous. What I don't understand is virulent hatred of the concept of J-schools when there are so many more-important things to get upset about.

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^Thanks for that thoughtful reply. You do have the experience to back it up, which is appreciated.

 

What I don't understand is virulent hatred of the concept of J-schools when there are so many more-important things to get upset about.

 

Honestly, Fox News and Roger Ailes are my new focus after reading "News Flash: Journalism, Infotainment and the Bottom-Line Business of Broadcast News." You'll hate television news for all eternity after reading that book, but I highly recommend every American read it.

 

As a whole, television stations are ten times worse than newspapers.

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This is satire, right? I admit to lifting it from the Drudgereport. (I guess Dan Rather didn't think the news needed "saving" during last fall's campaign--lol) Anyway, it’s good for a laugh!

 

 

http://www.aspendailynews.com/section/home/135834

 

Dan Rather wants Obama to help save the news

by Andrew Travers, Aspen Daily News Staff Writer

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

 

F

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It has also thinned the amount of investigative and international journalism. The latter loss of correspondents covering America’s two foreign wars, Rather opined, is both a critical detriment to the nation and a disservice to our troops.

 

This is the biggest disaster of the last ten years. Our war coverage is a complete joke.

 

Without action, he predicted, America will lose its independent media.

 

Ah, we lost our independent media a long time ago, Rather. You should know that better than anyone.

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It has also thinned the amount of investigative and international journalism. The latter loss of correspondents covering America’s two foreign wars, Rather opined, is both a critical detriment to the nation and a disservice to our troops.

 

This is the biggest disaster of the last ten years. Our war coverage is a complete joke.

Prove it!!! Granted this subject is geared toward dailly newspapers, but our coverage of the war has been outstanding.  We've had three people two journalist and one photo journalist lose their lives reporting.

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^Thanks for that thoughtful reply. You do have the experience to back it up, which is appreciated.

 

What I don't understand is virulent hatred of the concept of J-schools when there are so many more-important things to get upset about.

 

Honestly, Fox News and Roger Ailes are my new focus after reading "News Flash: Journalism, Infotainment and the Bottom-Line Business of Broadcast News." You'll hate television news for all eternity after reading that book, but I highly recommend every American read it.

 

As a whole, television stations are ten times worse than newspapers.

 

We've disagreed on a few things in this thread, but there are many things we can agree on -- particularly the sorry state of TV news. I don't even watch (except the Daily Show, which harpoons TV news so devastatingly).

 

In the past hour, I finished reading a history of UPI -- the loss of which contributes to some current problems in the media. UPI was a voice committed to world news and objectivity and lively writing and competition with established news organizations. I spent two years in its Chicago bureau in the midst of its tailspin.

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Prove it!!! Granted this subject is geared toward dailly newspapers, but our coverage of the war has been outstanding.  We've had three people two journalist and one photo journalist lose their lives reporting.

 

People die covering wars. It happens (though a lot less than in the past at our news organizations). You don't become a war journalist to be safe. You do it because it's a fast track to earn your wings. Read "News Flash." A lot more journalists used to die in the past who were American. We don't cover wars like other countries do, hence we lose fewer journalists than they do.

 

Our news industry pulled back. Journalists killed in Iraq:

 

Journalists Killed on Duty: 139

 

By Nationality:

• Iraqi: 117

• European: 13

• Other Arab countries: 3

• United States: 2

• All other countries: 5

 

Highest death tolls among news organization:

• Iraq Media Network (includes Al-Iraqiya, its affiliates, and Sabah newspaper): 14

• Baghdad TV: 7

• Al-Arabiya: 6

• Al-Shaabiya: 5

• Reuters: 5

• Kurdistan TV: 4

• Al-Baghdadia 2

 

Media Support Workers Killed on Duty: 51

 

By Nationality:

• Iraqi: 50

• Other (Lebanese): 1

 

Journalists Kidnapped: 57

 

By Nationality:

Iraqi: 23

European: 19

United States: 7

All other countries: 8

 

http://www.cpj.org/reports/2008/07/journalists-killed-in-iraq.php

 

This is our war, and we certainly have not covered the war like the Arab networks have, nor the European ones. They've put their ass on the line a lot more than any of our news organizations have, no question about it. They're doing most of the footwork, and when this is all said and done, the truths of this war will come out because all the video and photos too gory and "negative to the war effort" to show in American press will proliferate (they already have an audience on various underground websites). Again, read "News Flash." The overall general lack of coverage and war correspondence from Americans (not Europeans or Arabs), lack of grilling questions aimed at our generals and politicians prior to and during the war effort, failure to research, and the tendency to take things at face value is the greatest failing of television news. Television news has become a complete joke. You can learn a lot more about Iraq watching "Generation Kill" than you ever could watching CNN, Fox News, CBS, NBC, or ABC. There's something wrong with this picture...

 

The war has become barely a blip on the radar in America, a war we started. Today, the airwaves are dominated by Michael Jackson death, John and Kate Plus 8, child abductions, human interest, and fluff. Everything is back to normal, and it shouldn't be.

 

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You don't become a war journalist to be safe. You do it because it's a fast track to earn your wings.

 

I'm not a journalist, but I really resent that comment.  That is an insult to every war correspondent throughout history.

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Prove it!!! Granted this subject is geared toward dailly newspapers, but our coverage of the war has been outstanding.  We've had three people two journalist and one photo journalist lose their lives reporting.

 

People die covering wars. It happens (though a lot less than in the past at our news organizations). You don't become a war journalist to be safe. You do it because it's a fast track to earn your wings. Read "News Flash." A lot more journalists used to die in the past who were American. We don't cover wars like other countries do, hence we lose fewer journalists than they do.

 

Our news industry pulled back. Journalists killed in Iraq:

 

Journalists Killed on Duty: 139

 

By Nationality:

• Iraqi: 117

• European: 13

• Other Arab countries: 3

• United States: 2

• All other countries: 5

 

Highest death tolls among news organization:

• Iraq Media Network (includes Al-Iraqiya, its affiliates, and Sabah newspaper): 14

• Baghdad TV: 7

• Al-Arabiya: 6

• Al-Shaabiya: 5

• Reuters: 5

• Kurdistan TV: 4

• Al-Baghdadia 2

 

Media Support Workers Killed on Duty: 51

 

By Nationality:

• Iraqi: 50

• Other (Lebanese): 1

 

Journalists Kidnapped: 57

 

By Nationality:

Iraqi: 23

European: 19

United States: 7

All other countries: 8

 

http://www.cpj.org/reports/2008/07/journalists-killed-in-iraq.php

 

This is our war, and we certainly have not covered the war like the Arab networks have, nor the European ones. They've put their ass on the line a lot more than any of our news organizations have, no question about it. They're doing most of the footwork, and when this is all said and done, the truths of this war will come out because all the video and photos too gory and "negative to the war effort" to show in American press will proliferate (they already have an audience on various underground websites). Again, read "News Flash." The overall general lack of coverage and war correspondence from Americans (not Europeans or Arabs), lack of grilling questions aimed at our generals and politicians prior to and during the war effort, failure to research, and the tendency to take things at face value is the greatest failing of television news. Television news has become a complete joke. You can learn a lot more about Iraq watching "Generation Kill" than you ever could watching CNN, Fox News, CBS, NBC, or ABC. There's something wrong with this picture...

 

The war has become barely a blip on the radar in America, a war we started. Today, the airwaves are dominated by Michael Jackson death, John and Kate Plus 8, child abductions, human interest, and fluff. Everything is back to normal, and it shouldn't be.

 

this doesnt prove crap.  this is information someone gathered.  this is not accurate as it does not represent all media nor can they know all people killed as many families want to keep the death private.

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I don't think the number of reporters killed in the war is indicative of the quality or depth of their reporting.

 

Even if it is, you have to consider that most American reporters covering the war have been wearing body armor, and around US troops, who are pretty well trained in first aid, hence low numbers of KIA in relation to WIA for US troops. Iraqi journalists (and other middle eastern journalists) are often working away from the troops, in the streets, and thus are less likely to survive injuries. So that skews the numbers.

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It was always the top grads from Harvard, etc. who got the top Wall St. jobs, but somehow the idea of getting a master's in business admin took hold--and voila!--it became a big business unto itself. Gee, and how has that panned out? Some of the biggest crooks, fools and bunglers who have decimated our economy have...yes!...MBA's from some of the top business schools in the world--so goes the "best" and the "brightest." lol

 

It happened in the '80s. Just like a bunch of people joined the Navy after Top Gun came out, everybody has wanted an MBA since the movie Wall Street came out.

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Iraqi journalists (and other middle eastern journalists) are often working away from the troops, in the streets, and thus are less likely to survive injuries.

 

And working in the streets, they're more likely to get two sides of the story. You summed it up right there.

 

And how about European reporters? They've worn body armor too. Some of our country's reporters have worn it many times just for show. It's all about image.

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Iraqi journalists (and other middle eastern journalists) are often working away from the troops, in the streets, and thus are less likely to survive injuries.

 

And working in the streets, they're more likely to get two sides of the story. You summed it up right there.

 

Where do you get this information?  Really?  Based on what you've written, you know nothing on what journalist go thru or have gone thru covering the war.  It's insulting.

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this doesnt prove crap.  this is information someone gathered.  this is not accurate as it does not represent all media nor can they know all people killed as many families want to keep the death private.

 

This has nothing to do with families wanting to keep it private. News organizations track their own, track them like hawks. We've lost two to action, seven to kidnapping. That's nothing compared to European and Arab news. I'm sorry, keep living in la-la land. What's next. Do you think our reporters wearing body armor means they were in danger?! Ha! :lol:

 

Sometimes? Yes. Other times? Just for show. This is about ratings.

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