With a constantly changing industry, a challenge for journalism educators is how to prepare future journalists with the skills they need. Patrick Ferrucci, of the University of Colorado Boulder, interviewed 29 full-time veteran digital journalists in the United States to find out how they perceive current journalism education and the skills of new entrants to the field.
Today’s journalists are far better trained in technology than they were five years earlier, the interviewees stated. As a downside, new journalists seem less prepared for traditional skills, such as interviewing and critical thinking. There is too much focus on technology, the interviewees felt.
Since today’s journalism students are digitally native and accustomed to technology early on, maybe journalism programs could benefit from a renewed focus on traditional skills, the author ponders. The topic needs further research, and scholars should consider conducting a large, industry-wide survey to see whether the results are generalizable.
The article “We’ve Lost the Basics” was published in Journalism & Mass Communication Educator and is available online (abstract free).
Picture: In Neon Lights by Ari He, license CC0 1.0