Earlier this week there was a feed by a Brazilian journalism student on Twitter that said, "Twitter tutorial at the SATC journalism school next Monday". Rather than following the times, Journalism schools around the world are trying to run ahead of the times as they find themselves forced to adapt to a rapidly changing news world.
Maurreen Skowran, copy editor at The News & Observer, lead a live chat on Poynter this Monday, about changing journalism schools. The chat originated from an article she wrote earlier in the month, "Reimagining J-School Programs in Midst of Changing News Industry" where she presented a hypothetical curriculum and talked about how schools need to anticipate and prepare students "for newsrooms and jobs that don't yet exist".
Many journalism schools are increasing courses in the digital media realm and are preparing students for the Internet. Yet Skowran hopes that in addition to multimedia education, "schools will work toward giving students the skills they need to create their own jobs and newsrooms."
Rich Gordon, director of digital technology in Education and associate professor at Medill of Northwestern University, said on the chat, "I think j-schools could do a much better job, in identifying courses outside journalism that are valuable to the journalists of the future" such as, "an introductory computer programming course."
"Students should be encouraged to reflect upon how storytelling changes as the tools change," wrote professor Kim Pearson of The College of New Jersey, she said students should be taught to blog "so that they can learn what it means to do so legally, ethically and with journalistic substance."
A professor from Wichita State University said on the chat, that their school's "digital courses have students Twittering, blogging, studying branding and business management."
Northeastern University finds that collaborating with the Boston Globe is a great way to accelerate student participation in the media and also present eager and low-cost freelancers to struggling papers. In the last 20 months, students published 11 front-page investigative reports for the Globe.
Walter V. Robinson, a professor at Northeastern, wrote in an article for Nieman Reports that more journalism schools should try to incorporate such a program. He says "journalism teachers need not limit themselves to wringing their hands at the plight of the news business. Nor should students need to wait for newsroom internships or graduation to do reporting that gets published in a metro newspaper."
Editors can learn from the care of journalism schools to preserve the industry by accepting the changes and letting it evolve into something different and fresh. They are getting ready to form journalists with multiple skills, who are business savvy and deeply equipped to take the field to new levels and still apply journalism values to online.