Journalism Education News: Drone Reporting Class, a Student’s ‘Cash for Coverage’ Fundraiser & More

A quick rundown of recent news involving journalism students, faculty, staff, schools, and programs worldwide


Mizzou, Nebraska Offering Drone Reporting Classes

“In an attempt to keep pace with rapidly evolving technology, the journalism schools at the University of Missouri and University of Nebraska both offer classes on drone reporting, in spite of the fact that this practice is currently illegal for professional journalists. … Both schools consider the classes to be experimental and are using the drones for things like water sampling, drought surveillance and controlled fire tracking. Get ready for a descending swarm of over-eager drones reporting from the skies above.” 


Journalism Student Explains Why He Chose ‘Worst Major to Pursue’

“Despite these guys [The Daily Beast], them [The Daily Beast], them again [The Daily Beast] and even these other guys [Gawker] telling me that this is the worst major to pursue, as a naïve 19-year-old, I feel some sort of collegiate-aged burden to pursue what I really love. And if three more years pass and the real-world comes knocking, I could find myself working in PR or advertising. But until then, my dreams of having a column in the Times or in The New Yorker are still firmly intact.”


USC Journalism Grad Program Gets a Makeover

“Shelling out thousands of dollars for a master’s degree in journalism may seem illogical in 2013, as newsrooms continue to shrink at alarming rates. … In one attempt to respond, the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism will do away with its two-year M.A. degree in journalism and replace it with a nine-month M.S. program beginning in 2014. … The shorter program will have a greater emphasis on multimedia reporting and will ‘connect the classroom more directly with the newsroom.'”

A ‘Cash for Coverage’ Grad School Tuition Fundraising Scheme

“Queen’s University student Joanna Plucinska started a campaign to raise 50,000 Canadian dollars for her tuition to Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.  While it’s a unique way to pull together the cash for a Columbia University’s pricey graduate program, iMediaEthics has concerns. One of the ‘perks’ Plucinska advertises to donors in exchange for their financial support is the offer to write, edit or blog about anyone who donates C$100. Her pitch reads: ‘Want something written or edited? Want to be interviewed and featured on my blog? Done with this donation!’ … Plucinska’s intentions may be good, but if she does end up enrolled in Columbia’s program, she’d likely learn that exchanging cash for coverage is a huge media ethics no-no.”


‘How Can J-Schools Prep Students for World They’re Headed Into?’

“Data is all around us and it will only become more pervasive as digital technologies advance and our daily lives become centered on these two worlds. As educators, are we preparing our students to be able to manage these two worlds of data science and digital media together effectively and accurately? Specifically, journalism and mass communication programs are at a fork in the road — they can either sit back and watch or take an active role in transforming how our students can enter a new, digital-savvy competitive workforce.”


Professors, Like Journalists, Are About to Work Harder

“You’ve heard a lot over the past 10 to 15 years about the crisis of American journalism, but it’s actually been a crisis for American journalists. A lot of people have lost jobs. A lot of people have had to work harder, or work in ways they find less pleasant. Journalism has become more competitive and in some ways less prestigious. It’s simultaneously more ideological and more commercial than it used to be. … But the journalism is fine. … There really has been an amazing explosion of journalistic productivity, and voracious readers are way better off than they’ve ever been. The fact that journalists may not like it is neither here nor there. If an explosion of higher education productivity occurs, the people who currently teach in colleges and universities will find it discomfiting and that should not be the relevant consideration.”

University of Kansas J-School Receives $1.36 Million

In Other KU J-School News, New Student Media Manager Hired

UF Lecturer, Former TB Times Editor Wins SPJ Teaching Award

‘TCU Journalism School Chief to Retire Next Spring’

Temple’s New Media & Comm Dean ‘a Highly Respected Journalist’

‘University of Alabama Journalism Professor Named Top Educator’

To submit an item for the next j-education rundown, email me ASAP.

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