What should journalism educators do to respond to changes and challenges in the industry?

Jon Morris was the moderator, using an iPad as a microphone. Three of our guests were in the CMIR and three were brought in with Google Hangouts.

How should journalism education respond?

Brancaccio – People browse the Internet for headlines. We have to come up with ways to draw people into the more in-depth news. Provide meaning and context. We need to be able to use different platforms but also need to determine where the serious journalism will happen.

Cohen – So much of it is developing content. Can you tell a story so that it fits the distribution outlets you’re working in? Universities need to have more ties with media professionals and media organizations. He is going to be working with Sylvia Chan-Olmstead on 2015 project, a study of students who entered UF in 2011.

Williams – It’s not about technology. It’s about understanding brands and brand strategy. Use that knowledge to make a difference to the client’s business. Important for students to understand what’s going on in the industry.

Finberg – Technology is important but it can’t be just about technology. Students need the critical skills involved in good storytelling — using deconstruction or writing good stories. Get media literacy into the college curriculum. If students understand the messenger, they’ll better understand the message. What is that college journalism educators do best and what partnerships could be developed to address those issues that can’t be done as well locally grown.

Seaman – Pop culture doesn’t go away in our industry. Doesn’t have to be a dumbing down of popular culture but explaining how a media product is created and the rationale behind the decisions. Teachers can use deconstruction to help students understand what they are seeing.Have to understand the messenger.

Heiden – My liberal arts background is helpful in his job. I’ve learned the global part of the business on the job. Collaboration skills is important in the business. Media professional can become entry points into the industry. Biggest challenge is getting the attention of today’s youth because they have all this technology distraction.

What opportunities exist for collaboration with faculty?

Finberg – We’re looking for people who can teach and also for how we can share what our best practices have been. Part of Knight grant is providing education and that’s true for educators, too. Walls have come down in the industry — and gave a nod to Diane McFarlin, who was publisher of The Sarasota Herald Tribune. Those walls and collaboration need to happen in journalism education.

Brancacciok – Told story of teacher in California film school who gave pop quiz current events on first day of class. The students all flunked. The teacher told them, “You’ve just flunked lunch in Hollywood.” He had the students’ attention about the importance of knowing what was going on in the world.

Cohen – Think about what you’re reading, what conference you’re attending. Are you going to academic conferences where you’re going to be mainly with academics or are you going to be a professional conferences where you’ll be with people in the media. The more you network, you will have have a network of professionals in addition to academics.

Williams – Need to be aware of trends, as that has an impact on brands. Brands have an impact on news, too.

Seaman – Target demographic now moving from 24 to 54 to 18 to 54. Faculty can collaborate with media professionals because the college classroom has the desired target audience. Media professionals can give you a project to work on.


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