Teaching the New Generation of Journalists

By Deane Barker on April 19, 2009

J-Schools Play Catchup: Journalism schools are struggling to adapt.

In his second month as a professor at Arizona State University, Tim McGuire was standing in front of 13 students teaching “The Business of Journalism” when his inner voice interrupted. “You dummy,” he recalls thinking, “you are teaching a history course.” It was fall 2006, and he was talking about the production of a daily newspaper, but not about the parallel production of a 24-hour-a-day Web site. He was explaining the collapse of the print classified advertising market, but not the striking success of Google search advertisements.

I think teaching a journalism student how to make a paper newspaper is somewhat pointless. Print newspapers are slowly disappearing, and I’d venture that we have enough training people who maintain the process while slowly circles down the drain.

(And know that it breaks my heart to say that. I’ve loved paper newspapers my entire life. But there will be zero growth there. The paper newspaper will slowly drift to a halt.)