Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Wanted: Big Ideas

"Why aren't journalism schools coming up with solutions to the newspaper problem?" I was asked recently.

It's a great question and a potentially damning one. It's not that journalism educators aren't obsessing about the stresses being placed upon the profession. It's a fair question to ask what all that obsessing in the halls of academia has produced.

When one thinks about great journalism schools, does one imagine them as places of innovation and experimentation that test new methods of news gathering, presentation and delivery? Are they incubators of new industry models or is that more the province of business schools?

Where do new ideas in the journalism field come from?

1 comment:

  1. When I think of great journalism schools I imagine them first and foremost as institutions of education and training. Once a student is taught the basic skills he or she needs to be solid in the profession, they can be pressed to experiment with concepts and ideas they have been taught. Once basic skills are formed and set, then creativity can expand and new methods can be put to the test.
    The field of journalism is constantly changing in present times. If journalism schools don't teach students to be flexible, innovative and willing to try new things in the field then they graduate without being properly trained for survival as a journalist.
    The great journalism schools are where the majority of new, interesting ideas should come from in terms of the survival of the career. We can't expect multi million dollar broadcasting or printing moguls to take the big innovative risks that a journalism school could. They have much more to lose if new ideas fail where a journalism school can just return to the classroom and try something else.
    I think these new ideas come from trial and error of different approaches. For example, how to publicize the paper or what articles render reactions from readers.