A couple of weeks ago I recorded a conversation with Paul Bradshaw [Download paulbpt1.mp3 : 30 MB file]. Paul is a senior lecturer in journalism at Birmingham City University, an insightful commentator on the impact of the the shift to digital on journalism, the creator of the Online Journalism Blog and author of (amongst others) a forthcoming book on investigative journalism (review to come).
Our conversation was wide ranging but had the following themes:
- The theory/practice debate
- Media & communication degrees contra journalism degrees
- How can journalism education keep up with the fluidity of an ever changing market?
- How much influence should the industry have on the content of courses
- Are there skills that are no longer needed?
I have not edited the content of the discussion but have broken it into segments of roughly 20 mins. I will give a rough time-line for each segment.
02.00 "If you want the craft skills of a journalist - do a craft course"
03.40 "The vast amount of students see the theory stuff as just something they have to do to get a degree"
05.16 "The intention is to create a thinking media professional"
09.10 "I don't think there is any point in journalism degrees"
11.05 "If I were an employer I would rather have someone with a Media & Communications degree than a traditional journalism degree"
13.11 Q: How can journalism education keep up with the fast pace of change in the market?
This section discusses validation of modules and flexible module planning. Also structural issues for universities in general and journalism departments in particular around how to meet new challenges.