industry news

How would you reinvent the journalism school?

This week in CollegeJourn chat, we talked about reinventing the journalism school.  If we could create a j-school from scratch, what would it look like? The two main arguments were:

Experience-based education: Daniel Bachhuber led the argument that the ideal undergraduate journalism program would have one year of learning the basics — ethics, writing, media law — and three years of internships and jobs. Credits for jobs and internships would be merit-based.

Liberal arts-based education: Samuel Rubenfeld argued the best way to prepare for the journalism industry is to have a strong base in economics, law, humanities, social science, ethics, math, economics, business, law and politics before pursuing a job or internship.

To take a hint from Prof. Rosen, we need to become better explainers. How can we explain something if we don’t understand it ourselves? -srubenfeld

Other points specifics of the “ideal” j-school:

  • Get rid of tracks/concentrations, merge them all together
  • More long-term projects and experimentation
  •  An environment that fosters creativity (although Sam noted that word is a little too intangible)

If you were to design a journalism program (graduate or undergraduate), what would it look like? 


The second hour of CollegeJourn was led by Kristen Taylor, a guest from Knight Pulse— a new community site for the future of news. Taylor led the discussion to get feedback on how an online community for journalists should function.

Rubenfeld said the project was “navel gazing” and Bachhubber noted the web  is already an online community.

Taylor said the goal for Knight Pulse is to provide a place for discussion on how to better report and gather information. Rather than having a community based on innovation,  it’d be based on sharing what works.

A few ideas from the chat for how to use Knight Pulse as a news source:

  • Knight Pulse as a news aggregator
  • Provide alternative news that traditional news sites doesn’t
  • Integrated user-submitted news
  • Strong use of multimedia
  • Keep it hyper-local

If you have any ideas for improving Knight Pulse, follow @kthread on Twitter. CollegeJourn is a weekly, student-led chat that takes place at You can read the log of this week’s chat, which was moderated by Sarah Wood, here.