‘Journalism Plus’ Program Officially Kicks Off at University of Colorado

The controversial ‘journalism plus’ program at the University of Colorado is officially launching at the start of the school’s spring semester.  According to an announcement on a university-controlled site, more than 45 students are enrolled in the program.

In spring 2011, as many in the journalism community are aware, the Board of Regents at CU voted to close the university’s School of Journalism & Mass Communication based upon the recommendation of an outside advisory board.  The vote officially ended a long discontinuance process that has been viewed by some as a harbinger of dark days ahead for journalism education nationwide.

The program installed in the school’s place, supporters say, increases j-students’ focus on an additional academic area (almost like adding a second major).  The gist: enabling students to graduate with both journalism skills and knowledge of a particular portion of the world journalism covers.

My take: While the idea at heart seems sound and is being adopted in various forms within many j-programs worldwide, there is absolutely no reason it requires the closure of an entire school and the shake-up of a quality faculty base.  Work this into the existing J&MC curriculum!  Offer it as an option or track for interested students!

It is also hard to believe CU still cares about creating “better journalists, better news content and, over time, a more informed society” given that its first major program decision was installing a French and Italian professor without any discernible journalism experience as director.  I am sure he is a perfectly nice guy, accomplished in his fields.  But how is he qualified to run a journalism program?  My advice: Put him in charge of the ‘Plus’ part.  Get a j-prof to lead the Journalism portion.

2 Responses to “‘Journalism Plus’ Program Officially Kicks Off at University of Colorado”
  1. university says:

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