Alana Taylor is in J-school at NYU and is not happy with the way she gets unprepared and mis-prepared by the old-timey professors for the journalism of the future:
What is so fascinating about the move from print to digital is the freedom to be your own publisher, editor, marketer, and brand. But, surprisingly, NYU does not offer the kinds of classes I want. It continues to focus its core requirements around learning how to work your way up the traditional journalism ladder. Here is the thinking I find here:
1. Get an internship at a magazine or newspaper. “This is good for your resume.”
2. Bring the New York Times to class. The hard copy. “It’s the only way to get the news.”
3. Learn how to write for a magazine or newspaper. “Writing for blogs or websites is not journalism.”
4. Become an editor at a magazine or newspaper. “This is the only respectable position.”
Obviously, I am being a bit facetious here, but the truth of the matter is that by the time my generation, Gen Y, gets into the real world there will be a much higher demand for web-savvy writers and thinkers than traditional Woodwards and Bernsteins.
I was hoping that NYU would offer more classes where I could understand the importance of digital media, what it means, how to adapt to the new way of reporting, and learn from a professor who understands not only where the Internet is, but where it’s going.
Again, I don’t expect her to be an expert on the world of social media, but for some reason I am unsettled at the thought of having a teacher who is teaching me about the culture of my generation. For example, she said one of the character traits of our generation was an unwillingness to interact with people face to face because we “spend so much time online.”
In my experience, the Baby Boomers often think the Quarterlifers are anti-social because they socialize on Facebook and MySpace. I would argue that we actually spend more time interacting with others than the previous generation who didnâ€™t have many forms of communication and typically spent more time sitting in front of the television or with a couple of the same old friends. For our generation itâ€™s easier to get in touch, organize a meetup, throw together a party, ask someone out on a date.
Is it better at other J-schools? How about UNC?
[Hat-tip: Jay on FriendFeed]