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Thoughts Online Magazine
Collected Articles on Culture & Politics
Addendum to Post on Reporters Below 
12th-Apr-2007 06:41 pm
Inspiration
Previously, I commented that reporters are rather bad at understanding things in writing (including their own newspapers), preferring to interview an ignoramus than read a page from an expert. As it turns out, that is consistent with their own view of their profession: it requires no expertise, no experience, no knowledge, though such things are a "plus."

Now I'm looking to get rid of the delusion that reportage requires a college education, or a grad school of its own: by its own expectations, nothing of the sort is needed. A good high school education should do it.
Comments 
13th-Apr-2007 03:53 am (UTC)
I can tell you, as an experience and jaded former university newspaper and magazine editor, that what they teach in Journalism departments at colleges and universities is this:

1. basic journalistic style -- Who? What? Where? When? How? Why? Background. Viewpoints. Implications. (Those last three aren't part of the official canon, but they are taught nonetheless.)

2. journalism history -- This class is so young heads full of mush can learn "how far we've come in the business." The concentration is on print media. TV journalism is covered, but it is almost exclusively about McCarthy and Vietnam. Some of the professors under 50 teach about Iran-Contra, as well as how Matt Drudge is a piece of shit.

3. journalism law -- It's what it sounds like. Do's and Do-Not's. Basically, it's a course on covering your ass and scapegoating.

4. (paraphrasing) The public is really stupid. You must give them only what they need to know. Anything not coming from accepted news sources is immediately suspect, almost certainly untrue, and must be dismissed vengefully.

The rest of it is the much-ballyhooed "liberal bilge", for the most part.

Print media detests TV. Broadcast networks detest cable. Print, Broadcast and Cable HATE radio and aren't keen on the internet, though they are trying like hell to get the two federally-regulated.

Elementary schoolchildren are more capable to do good journalism than either high school or college grads, IMEO.
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