Silly rabbit, j-schools are for the fearfully unemployed

13 04 2009

The more and more I read about the state of the news industry, the more and more I am afraid to graduate.

If getting a job as a journalist is as hard as student journalists finding a decent internship, I don’t know if I am ready to face the real world just yet.

With more than 10,000 journalists out of a job since 2001, according to forbes.com, J-school has become more of a viable and attractive option for me and many other undergrads (With the added bonus of learning my dad lives near one of the best J-schools in the U.S. Yes to not having to pay room and board).

However, there is argument as to whether or not a M.A. in journalism is really worth the trouble. A big reason is due to the changing media landscape. How does an academic teach people about something that seems so uncertain? Jim McPherson, my adviser and professor, told me and several other students that he knows just as much as we do when it comes new media and Journalism 2.0.

Another debate focuses on the importance of teaching student journalists the technical skills of today’s technology. Is it more important to teach students to know how to know web coding and video-making or is it more important to teach the ways of reporting and writing? Many professionals will say the basics are more fundamental since technology changes all the time.

Both sides of the argument on the validity of graduate schools of journalists are valid, and so far, my mind has yet been made up.

Additional links:

“Keeping J-School Relevant” – Inside Higher Ed

“Is J-School Worth It?” – U.S. News & World Report (a little dated but still relevant)

“Are J-Schools Today Taking the Wrong Approach?” – Editor & Publisher

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