Tuesday, April 29, 2008

NYT's Bill Keller: Yes, J-Schools Matter

Some fascinating quotes from the conference, “Crisis in News: Symposium on Investigative Reporting,” at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, for all of you who read "J-school Ate My Brain" and became depressed:

"We’ve come to take journalism schools more seriously. [audience laughs] No, we used to hire people according to clips and the academic background isn’t as important. I didn’t go to journalism school, there used to be a grizzled editor who would help young reporters figure it out, but those grizzled editors are gone now so the schools are more important." -- Bill Keller, executive editor, New York Times (emphasis added)

So the times are indeed changing -- and maybe all of that advice about how "you don't need j-school" isn't applicable to the 21st century. Keller's word isn't the final word, of course, but it's an especially prominent and accomplished one. If Keller's feeling the effects from on high, who knows what the situation really is.

On more interesting quote on that note:

"There used to be more beginning positions at newspapers and smaller magazines have scaled down their staff jobs. All these places that feed the Pulitzer winners at bigger papers — those sources are drying up, and I find that worrisome." -- Clara Jeffery, Mother Jones

The "intelligence flow" or "talent flow" of journalism outlets is changing, it seems.

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