January 09, 2008

Jounalism Reinvented

I always knew I wanted to study journalism. Ten years ago I graduated with honors from a good J-school in Mexico, complete with CNN internship and half-a-dozen "real" articles in business magazines by the time I handed in my BA thesis.

Today, all this is basically useless.

(and I'm not only talking about the concept of an undergrad thesis)

The only thing remaining is the “core” – the drive, the discipline, the writing skills (and the luck.) But the majority, that 89.6% of the content taught in journalism schools today, is completely out of synch with the reality of surviving in an era of blogs, free newspapers, and kids with camera phones and portable MP3 recorders landing larger headlines than the networks. No wonder that many of the traditional reporters are reluctant to blog, add video and other channels, change.

As Steve Outing recently wrote in his column at Editor & Publisher,

"Even at the college level, where you might expect all students to be on
board with the notion of a digital-centric, publish-it-right-now,
multi-media approach to news, I still run into budding journalists who cling
to the hope of finding a traditional newspaper reporting job."

Here's a snip from the reaction of Mindy McAdams (of Teaching Online Journalism blog fame)

Tear up your news hole. Destroy it.
Tear up your CMS templates. Install something else and link to the new thing.
Do it fast and furiously, as if your life depended on it. Because it does.


1 comment:

Tony Berkman said...

You are so right. I'm not sure that formal education, aside from trade schools, have ever prepared us for life other than to chill creativity and insure discipline.