Mediactive

The Future of Journalism Education

Next week I’ll be attending a one-day conference at the Paley Center for Media in New York. The center and the Carnegie Corp. are asking what the future of journalism education should be — who should do it, how it should be done, and for what purpose.

I’ve been thinking about this for some time, and have blogged a number of ideas in the past several years, and one chapter in my upcoming book, Mediactive, will look closely at media education. Here’s an excerpt:

If I ran a journalism school, I would start with the same basic principles of honorable, high-quality journalism and mediactivism, and embed them at the core of everything else. If our students didn’t understand and appreciate them, nothing else we did would matter very much.

With the principles as the foundation, I would, among many other things:

All this suggests a considerably broader mission for journalism schools and programs than the one they’ve had in the past. It also suggests a huge opportunity for journalism schools. The need for this kind of training has never been greater. We’re not the only ones who can do it, but we may be among the best equipped.

Note: Seth Lewis at the Nieman Journalism Lab is looking for ideas in this space. He’s dead-on in wanting to see students come out of the experience with great flexibility, and his piece has already attracted some excellent comments.