Thursday, June 02, 2011

Modern journalists are taught to avoid genuine challenge of political power-Greenwald

6/1/11, The Nation, "Clearly, the journalism major is unnecessary for entry into the industry. But I'd go a step further – on a whole, it's actually bad for the craft. Think about the social function of the journalism major. Overtly or not, it creates an implicit regulatory structure, endowing journalism students with the right to manage the university’s newspaper by virtue of their participation in important seminars on media ethics and interview techniques. Conversely, non-journalism students are left with the impression that reporting is best reserved for those who've been formally trained to do it.

In reality, the opposite can be true: The most insightful kind of journalist tends to be one with proficiencies in other subjects. Oppenheimer, the Yale Journalism Initiative director, has it about right: “The animating belief of our program,” he wrote last fall, “is that the best journalism training is expertise in the liberal arts — whether Chinese literature, chemistry, geology, or economics — along with the preparation to bring that expertise, in a tough-minded, hard-hitting way, to the media.” So if you take a full major's worth of journalism classes, that's about twelve (or however many) less classes in the humanities that could've equipped you

  • with an intellectual framework from which to approach your work....

The conventions of modern establishment journalism are designed to suppress any genuine adversarial challenges to political power,” (Glenn) Greenwald told me recently. “In 2005, David Halberstam said: 'By and large, the more famous you are, the less of a journalist you are.' I'd add: by and large, the more you cling to the orthodoxies of modern journalism,

  • the less of a journalist you are.”

6/1/11, "Where Is Journalism School Going?" The Nation, Michael Tracey, via Poynter.org/Romenesko

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