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Posts Tagged ‘reform’

Educators: Knight Foundation’s Call For J-school Reform Is Unfair

Some educators are reacting negatively to The Knight Foundation’s open letter that called for journalism education reform.

Inside Higher Ed reports that journalism professors in Chicago for the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) conference are discussing the letter, and they don’t think it’s fair. Here are some of the reactions reported by Inside Higher Education.

Linda Steiner, AEJMC’s pressident and professor at University of Maryland, College Park says there’s not a one-size-fits all model:

“But my point is that the conventional j-school is rare these days: Some programs have journalism (including, often, PR and advertising) and other media fields…. Different schools have different understandings of their priorities and their mission.”

Beth Barnes, director of the school of journalism and telecommunications at the University of Kentucky and president of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication says it’s not all about the latest gadgets:

[...] to her the debate seemed like a choice between teaching the fundamentals of the profession versus teaching about the “coolest, newest toy on the block.”

What do you think? Did these educators miss the point, or is Knight Foundation in the wrong?

Read more reactions in Inside Higher Ed’s full coverage →

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Knight Foundation: Time To Reform Journalism Education

In an open letter to America’s university presidents, The Knight Foundation and representatives from other journalism grant providers said that many journalism schools are not up to date and called on universities to recreate themselves in order to succeed.

From the letter:

Journalism funders agree that academia must be leading instead of resisting the reform effort. Deans must find ways for their schools to evolve, rather than maintain the status quo. Simply put, universities must become forceful partners in revitalizing an industry at the very core of democracy.

We also agree universities should make these changes for the betterment of students and society. Schools that favor the status quo, and thus fall behind in the digital transition, risk becoming irrelevant to both private funders and, more importantly, the students they seek to serve.

The letter was signed by Eric Newton, senior adviser of the Knight Foundation; Clark Bell, journalism program director at McCrmick Foundation; Bob Ross, president and CEO of the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation; Mike Philipps, president and CEO of the Scripps Howard Foundation; Linda Shoemaker, president of the Brett Family Foundation; and David Haas, chair of the Wyncote Foundation.

What they all have in common? They represent organizations that give grants to journalism education, and in the letter they warn that schools that do not update their curriculum will “find it difficult to raise money from foundations interested in the future of news.” A threat?

Read the full letter  here