“Journalist-as-Superhero” in a New Media World

September 8: This just in: Journalism is not dead or dying, a Temple University j-prof writes for Philadelphia Weekly.  It is evolving.  And student journalists are at the center of the evolution.



“The future of journalism is uncertain,” G.W. Miller III admits in the PW cover story, “Stop the Presses.”  “The students of today—more so than ever before—have the ability to shape what the profession will someday look like.”


Miller makes an impassioned argument that the “journalist-as-superhero era” circa Watergate has transformed into “a new media world.”  And yes, there is a growing swell of staff reductions and a partisan stench in the air, but the landscape is also bleeding innovation and offering opportunities for those with a new media nose for news.


Separately, the piece contains a great description of a newsroom of student journalists at fall semester’s start:


The newsroom [of The Temple News] is full of unadorned workstations, but is constantly alive with caffeine-fueled students laughing, yelling, arguing, gossiping, flirting, bitching, writing stories, editing images, laying out pages and doing whatever’s necessary to get the next issue out the door.  This is the first production day of the fall semester, the day before the welcome-back issue hits campus, so things are especially chaotic. The staff has been crunching copy and frantically flipping through The Associated Press Stylebook all day. Many were in and out of the office last week too, while other Temple kids were enjoying the waning days of their summer vacation.  “Post your office hours somewhere so we’ll know when you’ll be here,” says Stover, the Temple News editor-in-chief. “You’re supposed to be here 10 hours per week.”  The staff erupts in snorts and giggles.  “You’ll be getting paid for 10 hours,” interjects Shannon McDonald, the school paper’s managing editor. “I’m not going to lie; you’ll probably be here a lot more than that.”

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