Sunday, March 7, 2010

Director's Notes: Reaction to the Shrinking Newsroom

Sunday, March 07, 2010

  • J-School Lifeline. Inside Higher Ed poses the provocative question of whether journalism school can save journalism in their article "J-Schools to the Rescue?" You know the scenario: While newsrooms are shrinking, J-schools are flourishing. The result is more explicit arrangements to have journalism students, who will work for course credit, fill the gaps left by the pros when the news outlets can no longer afford to pay. Inside Higher Ed focuses on the recently announced partnership between New York University and the New York Times, which slashed 200 newsroom jobs last year. The problem, according to Choire Sicha of The Awl, is that the skills picked up by the students while providing free content to the Times will not mean much when they graduate and go looking for salaried positions that no longer exist.
  • The McCormick Foundation got into the game in January 2009 by supporting Florida International University student feeds to the South Florida News Service, a content-sharing partnership among the Miami Herald, South Florida Sun-Sentinel and the Palm Beach Post. Our grant was contingent on support by the three newspapers in the FIU project.
  • Peter Scheer, another MF grantee, speculated that journalism schools may be continuing to enroll students at high levels despite an anemic job market because news organizations need them to be producing young reporters who are professionally trained but cost less than their more experienced forebears.
  • Train Everyone to be a Journalist. Poynter Online columnist Al Tompkins has another idea to combat those shrinking newsrooms. "As we pare back our staffs, and as emergencies hit, you will find you need everyone in your building to help out in ways you never imagined."
  • Quote of the Week: "The best use of a journal is to print the largest practical amount of important truth, truth which tends to make makind wiser, and thus happier." -Horace Greeley

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