Ten recommendations for J‑School deans

Just to be nice…

  1. Stop talking to readers and viewers to find out what’s going on. Talk to former readers and former viewers, or those who’ve never been readers or viewers. Young people are entering a media python strangely different from ours. We need to kill ours rather than let it starve to death (it’s the humane thing to do) and graft ourselves onto the new beast. Attacking the new animal with ours would be suicide.
  2. The gate keeper function is dead. Don’t even go there.
  3. Extricate yourselves from any semblance of involvement in mass media. That one-way paradigm died awhile ago.
  4. Kick the public relations people out the door. Just because Walter Lippmann invited them in doesn’t mean we need to keep them in the same building. It gives people the wrong impression, to say nothing of what it does for “our” students. We are not peas in the same pod; theirs belongs in the business school.
  5. Have your students look at themselves in the mirror every day and say, “I’m a human being, and that’s okay.”
  6. Teach the lost art of political argument.
  7. Notify high schools that the road to riches doesn’t run through your school. You offer degrees, not jobs.
  8. Every student should blog and participate in the citizens media process. If it teaches them nothing else, it will give them (and you) an appreciation for the reality that technology now allows anybody to be a newspaper or a television station. Our students need to use the technology to fully understand that. To enter the trade of journalism without this understanding would be like engineers entering the labor force without a knowledge of computers.
  9. Think revival, not nostalgia, to address the problems we face. It isn’t about going back.
  10. Require students to learn a little about life, even if that means you have to teach it yourselves. You might back off on some of the things they can learn on the job, if you need to find time for history, religion, politics and business.

Comments

  1. *Gag* We’re all guilty of sounding overly self-important at times. That’s why we blog to some extent. We like the sound of our own voices, so to speak. But you’re getting worse and worse. You’re spewing more self important BS than what we see from most people in MSM or academia. Maybe this tone from you and many others is why in reality citizens aren’t bagning down the doors to participate. Dan Gilmore’s Bayosphere is a great example of this. Eight out of ten postings on that sites homepage are written by him.

  2. I think it’s a damned fine post and as an upcoming j‑school prof (not dean) I’m grateful for the good advice.

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