Media Musings

A blog for students and stalkers of Brian Steffen, centering on issues of concern in media studies.

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Location: Indianola, Iowa, United States

Hello all... I'm a professor of communication studies at Simpson College and a junkie of all things media. I'm blogging on life on the faculty at Simpson and working with some of the best young future professionals in the world.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Journalism Students, Now and in the Future

Romenesko has a couple of items today that speak to where journalism students are today and where they're going tomorrow. In one story, Sonya Huber-Himes, now of Georgia Southern but last year the student newspaper adviser at Ohio State, says that too many students are going too fast in trying to become expert policy analysts without really understanding much about policy. Maybe it's better to chase car accidents for awhile:

While I am heartened by journalism schools' new emphasis on subject-driven, in-depth reporting, I worry that the focus on advanced analysis encourages students to think they know everything. Yes, reporters must be able to wrestle with complex subjects, but too often the role of expert that reporters tend to adopt results in patronizing news coverage that distances itself from and even disparages the events and people being reported on.

Memo to students: You'll have plenty of time to get cynical as a professional journalist, but don't bite off more than you can chew too early in your career.

Over at Innovation in College Media, Bryan Murley has an interview with Harold Owens, director of Digital Publishing at Gatehouse Media, and Owens says the printing press may not be dead but will be issuing lots of unemployment notices. The good news for the Simpson crew? Owens says to keep doing what you're doing:

Every student journalist should spend at least six months totally immersed in blogging. Start a blog and try to draw an audience. Do the things that bloggers need to do, read other blogs, create a blog roll, link to other blogs, post frequently on topics relevant to the audience you’re trying to reach (and read those blogs in that category), comment on other blogs. Learn to be a participant. That’s my advice to pro journalists, too: if you want to learn this culture, become a participant in it. It will totally change the way you think about media and online publishing.


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