Over at his MediaShift site, Mark Glaser continues to crank out quality online journalism, including today’s great piece on whatever happened to the experiment in “new” journalism that was launched a year ago by five major journalism grad schools. The schools put together $6 million to fund — over three years — the Carnegie-Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education.
Glaser does a masterful job of taking us through what the initiative has accomplished and concludes that it isn’t much in the way of “new.” And isn’t this always the case when institutional incumbents are threatened by a real disruption?
Here’s the money graph:
So why not take the $6 million and create real new-media incubator businesses? Stanford University helped create Yahoo and Google, but those companies didn’t come from the journalism school. Perhaps the journalism schools could team with computer programming departments to create hybrid sites that combine the best technology of sites such as Digg or YouTube with the editorial standards that come from journalism.
For all the good that J-schools do and all the wonderful people who’ve dedicated their lives to training the young people within the ivory walls, it simply isn’t enough in the face of what’s confronting the institution today. If the “professionalism” that these institutions wish to protect is really that important, then Mark’s advice ceases to be advice and becomes, instead, a mandate.
News IS a conversation, but who starts the conversation? That, I believe, is the role of the new “press” in our culture and where journalism education should really begin.