I’ve been a journalist for about 15 years, working in the US, Germany, and Switzerland, with stops in Oslo, Cairo, Prague, and more. But after I graduated from college with a journalism degree, I didn’t know exactly which direction I would head. I got a big break filling in for a reporter in Olympia, WA, and afterwards had a chance to be freelancer. But in between reporting gigs I needed something to pay for food, and gas…so I became a baker. Here’s a short story of me being a bread baker’s assistant:
I have a degree in Journalism. I am proud of that education, and the places it’s taken me. I am also a rarity in journalism, I feel, as employers increasingly seem to value graduates with qualifications in political science, economics, perhaps history, and then maybe a graduate degree in Journalism. (or forgo it all together) Students are, sometimes jokingly, warned away from an undergraduate education in journalism or media studies because the craft of journalism is one honed, or not, through a career, and the basics can be picked up on the job. No journalism degree is necessary, and in fact other specialties would be cherished more.
The debate over attending journalism school (J-School) is not new, and I feel the proponents for the degree are being outnumbered. Journalism training Mecca, the Poynter Institute, recently aggregated four recent arguments against a journalism degree. I understand the profession is changing, and I understand technology is evolving at a pace faster than many media outlets can handle effectively, but there are certain basics picked up in the journalistic test-kitchen of a university which are disappearing by the lack of emphasis on a journalism education. And the profession, public, and society are suffering because of it.
With a struggling economy, it seems people are tightening belts and rethinking budget plans. Lawmakers and city leaders are still trying to hash out exactly how to deal with budget shortfalls, and more Arizonans are trying to weather the storm with a state unemployment rate of nearly 7 percent. The push for fiscal prudence has also made it to Arizona’s independent and private schools, though so far those schools are fairing well.. KJZZ’s Tony Ganzer reports.