Rethinking [again] the future of journalism education

  • Mensing D
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Abstract

For many of the previous 100 years the role of a journalist was to find information, shape it into an accurate story and transmit it as quickly as possible to a mass audience via a mass medium. Today, information is no longer scarce, breaking news is no longer the province of professional journalists, mass media are declining in influence and news is easily personalized. Like many news organizations, journalism education programs are distinctly unprepared to respond to such deeply structural changes in the environment. Preliminary research indicates that the response to date has been primarily to expand technology training and reorient sequence and media emphasis tracks. The present study recommends a realignment of journalism education from an industry-centered model to a community-centered model as one way to re-engage journalism education in a more productive and vital role in the future of journalism. A community-centered focus could provide a way to conceptualize a reconstitution of journalism education to match that taking place in journalism beyond the university. Three examples from current journalism programs illustrate the implications of this analysis and provide an indication of future directions for realignment.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Community
  • Journalism education
  • Journalist

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Authors

  • Donica Mensing

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