“University-Based Reporting Could Keep Journalism Alive”

As the professional press compresses and its original content wanes, student journalism will rise to a place of uber-importance, a new Chronicle of Higher Education report confirms.  As the piece quotes a professor recently telling his journalism students, “We are surrounded by people who say that the world is coming to an end, but it is just beginning for you.”

The article- co-written by former Washington Post executive editor Leonard Downie Jr. (now at Arizona State) and Columbia University Grad. School communication professor Michael Schudson- outlines a few of the many new initiatives being jumpstarted at universities nationwide to further push students’ “practice” stories into the print, broadcast, and online universe once dominated by professionals.  A snippet:

[T]he major engine of original news gathering since the 19th century— the daily newspapers— are producing less original news reporting than they did a decade ago. Few newspapers have actually shut their doors in the past few years, but many of them have sharply cut their budgets to survive. They have closed foreign bureaus and statehouse bureaus, reduced the number of days each week that they print and deliver the papers. Major papers across the country have bought out or laid off editors, reporters, and photographers. . . . There has been a substantial loss of reporting capacity. Journalism schools, thanks to the Internet, can help fill the gap.

My take: Duh. And water is wet. It should NOT take Schudson and Downie to define this trend. This has been happening for a number of years. Universities in the loop are not simply being proactive.  They are also reacting to their students’ own thirst for a presence in the new journalism landscape, NOW. Yes, there is still a learning curve for students aspiring to be journalists, but there is no reason they cannot make certain portions of their work public along the way.  It will aid in their education and serve as extra motivation.  And it just may save journalism- not journalism as we once knew it, but journalism as our wildest dreams envision it to be.

How Liveblogging is Changing Journalism by digitaljournal.com.

THE END . . . has already fully begun.

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  1. […] not subpoenaed.  They are prime examples of a larger trend in which student journalism will have evermore have more significant real-world implications.  By extension, j-students will increasingly find themselves in the crosshairs.  They are […]