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CollegeJourn chat reflects on Stewart vs. Cramer

This week’s #collegejourn chat opened up with a hot topic on the web this week: The John Stewart vs. Jim Cramer showdown that took place on the Daily Show (if you haven’t seen it, watch the full interview here).

Stewart (the comedian pundit) took on Cramer (CNBC’s financial news commentator) for his network’s faulty reporting prior to the country’s financial plummet.

The interview drew an audience of 2.3 million and was the year’s second-most-watched Daily show— but was it journalism? Here’s what a few people in the chat said:

It was less journalism, more a wake up call to journalism –andrew_dunn

Journalism requires a newsier hook. Santelli was days before. If it is classified as journalism, it’d be one of those features the NYT likes to do in its bottom-left corner below the fold –srubenfeld

What he did that night was undoubtedly journalism, at it’s best you might say. Whether that makes him a journalist or not. . . –joshhalljourno

I think Jon Stewart is a journalist – he tells the truth through humor – by highlighting what is left unsaid. –hidama

I’d describe what he does on most nights as much closer to commentary and analysis than straight journalism. –aweiss

What can we learn from Stewart v. Cramer to take back in our journalistic responsibilities?

Get away from access-based faux reporting and start doing document-based reports. –srubenfeld

Be as knowledgeable as a comedian. If you can’t make a joke, then you don’t know enough about it. –hidama

Talking to a CEO doesn’t necessarily give you an insight into a company’s direction. Middle-management, those actually making the trades etc. are the ones to talk to. –srubenfeld

The main lessons learned, as noted by moderator Suzanne Yada:

  1.  Do your research
  2. Don’t necessarily trust “officials”
  3. Don’t settle for pat answers if you know there’s something else going on

Columbia J-school’s new approach 

The second topic covered in #collegejourn chat was tied to New York Magazine’s recent article about how out of date Columbia’s j-school is.

The controversial excerpt:

“F*** new media,” the coordinator of the RW1 program, Ari Goldman, said to his RW1 students on their first day of class, according to one student. Goldman, a former Times reporter and sixteen-year veteran RW1 professor, described new-media training as “playing with toys,” according to another student, and characterized the digital movement as “an experimentation in gadgetry.”

Reactions in the chat:

J-school should exclusively focus on teaching people how to tell stories, regardless of medium.-srubenfeld

put another way: The fundamentals of journalism stay the same regardless of platform. –aweiss

it’s not about medium. it’s about the internet completely changing the way we communicate between humans, and j-school recognizing that. –bethshanna

What are your thoughts on either of these topics? Let us know in the comments. You can read the full #collegejourn transcript here (you really should read it, it’s a good one this week).