In New Media Programs, Who Benefits?

In today’s landscape, defining “the media” isn’t nearly as clear-cut as it used to be. Big-name newspapers and networks mingle with cable channels, all-purpose Web sites and blogs in the minds of the average news consumer, and for good reason: They are, in many cases, converging, with widely read blogs run by newspapers and online Web stories originating from cable networks. Meanwhile, a number of relatively new outlets have become powerful forces in their own right, taking advantage of the speed and connectivity of the Internet to scoop the mainstream media and blur the distinction between the producer and the consumer.

Moreover, much of the new media eschews precisely the kinds of journalistic conventions still taught in school, preferring instead to apply pressure to ideological opposites, using blogs, crowdsourcing and other citizen media techniques to gather raw material for the next humorous or polemical viral video.

Maybe that’s the point.  — Andy Guess, Inside Higher Ed

3 thoughts on “In New Media Programs, Who Benefits?

  1. The New School in NY offers a unique Media Techniques program, offered both on campus and online.
    Many graduate programs ask you to choose between studying media and creating it. The innovative MA in Media Studies at The New School expects you to do both. It allows you to integrate studies in media history, theory, research and management with production work in film, audio, video, and digital media—so you can advance in almost any area of this wide-ranging field.
    Key curriculum areas include industry perspectives, media management and leadership, media economics, information technologies, competitive strategies, and corporate responsibility.

  2. I left this comment on the Inside Higher Ed site:
    The J-school pipeline? Harrumph.
    Since 2003, I’ve taught in a “New Media Journalism” program that’s housed in a humanities division in a small liberal arts college. We do convergence and interdisciplinarity out of necessity, since everyone at a small school wears many hats (I also teach basic comp and literature).
    Cub reporters will always have a lot to learn on-the-job, but when they’re stringers or graveyard-shift workhorses writing on deadline, they won’t always have the time, motivation, and mentorship to ruminate about the big issues — not the way they can in a college seminar, or in one of those dorm common room conversations that lasts until dawn.
    While this article focuses on the graduating end of the journalism pipeline, I’m aware that many parents feel more comfortable paying tuition so their child can get a journalism degree, rather than some other degree they perceive as less practical.
    I’d like my journalism majors to appreciate and leverage the value of their liberal arts education, not an assembly line preparing them for the grind in a big-city daily. I don’t expect every one to go into the news business, any more than I expect every English major to go into the literature business. And some of the most dedicated staff members on the student paper aren’t journalism majors.
    Your mileage may vary, but as I see it, the hallmarks of a new media journalism education should be core writing strength (with attention to process and audience), critical thinking skills, intellectual curiosity, and a willingness to explore new technology.
    Citizens of all walks of life will need such skills in order to participate fully in the democratic society of the 21st century.

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