What would you do if you were the head of a new journalism school?
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I’m breaking the rule of three this week to come up with what I think is an interesting trend — and to ask about it to you, my loyal, hard-working readers. (So, so diligent… is it May again?)
Over the past few weeks, I’ve had some interesting conversations with a few different people. One was with a former reporter who is helping lead discussions about what a new journalism school might look like at Texas A&M.
And in another conversation, I spent a delightful hour in the California sunshine sitting on a balcony at Loyola Marymount University, talking to journalism program director Kate Pickert about what it was like to start a department.
Without divulging any of the details of our conversations, I will simply ask this: suppose you are handed the proverbial keys and a blank check to a new school of journalism of your own design. What would you do? What courses would you offer? What spaces would you build?
Or to put it more clearly: what would you change in the state of journalism education and what would you double down on? (Sorry, I’m writing from Las Vegas, and I think state law requires me to phrase it that way.)
I look forward to hearing from you on this. Let me know so I can compile your answers in a future newsletter.
Since the pandemic, there has been an increase in the number of college journalists reaching out to Poynter for help dealing with the stress that comes with the territory. Google “how to deal with stress” and top results include eating better, turning off the news, getting eight hours of sleep, exercising regularly, and avoiding alcohol and caffeine. Who knows of college journalists who will follow this advice? Me niether.
That’s why I’ve become really fascinated with the concept of peer support and peer counseling, especially since professional college counseling services are incredibly thin. The thing is, we know that college newsrooms are the de facto support networks for many student journalists. Training our young journalists to help each other deal with stress, burnout and trauma seems like a worthwhile use of our time. Anyone out there do it?
According to lawyers and students, it is the students. But academic officials at the Virginia Military Institute appear to have doubts. Another case of academic overreach or is there something deeper at play here?
Have you seen the story of a former Clemson student winning a defamation lawsuit worth over $5 million after a Title IX case? This will have implications for the already tricky navigation of Title IX reports. In case you need it now or in the future, here is our free Poynter self-directed course on Title IX.
Speaking of Loyola Marymount… while on campus recently, I had a VIP tour of the school library, which is hosting a 100th anniversary exhibit of the school newspaper, the Loyolan. The Loyolan has partnered with the library to display front pages through the ages, hot topics on campus, and different sections of the newspaper.
I also heard recently from the Wisconsin Daily Cardinal, which just celebrated its 130th anniversary with a special section and other events.
So what do you do to celebrate your big birthdays on campus? I hope this includes fundraising and celebrating current students and alumni.
This headline pretty much says it all, and it features Frank LoMonte, so you know it’s going to have some great advice: “Video and Highlights: Opening Up Access – How to Push Back Restrictive Communication Policies in the education (and beyond).”
Check out the statistics in this story on how many white students compared to black and Latino students have completed unpaid internships, then learn about some of the solutions schools are offering to ensure all students get paid for their work. .
I think they have a case, or at least a very good complaint: “USC is suing YouTubers over disruptive prank videos.” I feel so bad for the students in these classes.
I love this article from Nieman Lab: “Journalism in small liberal arts schools shouldn’t be out of reach.” The caption says it all: “Some student newspaper positions – particularly editorials – at many liberal arts colleges are unpaid, perpetuating the continued overrepresentation of upper-middle-class, often white, journalists. “
This week we are offering an internship with the Freedom of the Press Foundation/US Press Freedom Tracker, which is either remote or in New York. The listing reads: “The ideal candidate will be interested in press freedom issues and will spend the majority of the internship researching and reporting for publication.”
Check out our ever-growing internship database (improvements coming this summer!) for more paid opportunities for your students.
In this week’s teacher press pass, we asked students to watch a “Last Week Tonight” clip and discuss the intersection of journalism and comedy. Can journalism be funny and still count as journalism?
Bonus case study (because I couldn’t resist): This story, and how anonymous sources need to be considered in the context of political party pressure and voters’ right to know their representatives.