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Like individuals, journalism programs that develop expertise in particular areas can build a brand and reputation, attracting motivated students, competent faculties, and committed partners.
The range of choices for journalism programs used to be much more narrow. In examining journalism programs in the US, I have been struck by the similarities of their course offerings and curriculum.
As programs continue to change, however, they have begun to diversify. Now programs can focus on teaching students to be storytellers in multiple media or data analysts with visualization skills; they can focus on developing social media expertise and community managers or experts in video, audio, photography and the written word; subject area specialists and experts in particular media channels or investigative journalists or watchdog specialists.
News21 was first launched in 2005 by three American foundations as part of a $20 million grant. Since 2008, Arizona State University has received more than $10 million to fund the program, which provides an intensive spring seminar and a 10-week paid summer fellowship. Schools pay $10,000 to support students chosen to participate in the program. This year 27 students are participating in producing a multimedia stories about issues related to guns. The students are supervised by five outstanding professional journalists and stories are published and broadcast by major US news outlets.
Marc Cooper, USC faculty member, who runs Annenberg Digital News which publishes student-run Neon Tommy
University of Alabama
Strategic Directions in
Reynolds School of Journalism
University of Nevada, Reno
“To make up for the loss of the reporting that economically
devastated news organizations can no longer afford”
(Nicholas Lemann, 2009)
So that “universities [will] become forceful partners in
revitalizing an industry at the very core of democracy”
(Open Letter to America's University Presidents, 2012)
Because pedagogically the best way to learn journalism is to
do it (Newton, 2013)
“becoming significant producers of
original news reporting”
Students doing the journalism
Professionals mentoring them to improve the quality
and impact of the journalism
Professors bringing in topic knowledge and raising
Innovators pioneering new tools and techniques
Academics doing major research projects
Everyone working together with an emphasis of not
just informing a community but engaging it. The sixth
element is not a type of person, it’s a way of doing
things: working with each other and a community.
Types of journalism (data, visual, investigative), types
of technology (mobile, video), subject areas (politics,
arts, science, culture), functions (service, craft) & etc.
Skills and interests of faculty
Amount and type of existing resources
Potential for additional funding
Other units at the university interested in collaboration
Skills and resources of alumni
Size of community
Needs of local communities
Media opportunities in the region
Competition from other regional programs
How to choose