Reasons for optimism, and a good reading list for education

Picture: Beam of light on a forest road by John Towner, license Unsplash

Kati Tusinski Berg of Marquette University and Ryan Thomas of the University of Missouri offer a list and summary of recommended readings intended to bring hope and optimism to the journalistic profession and to teaching journalism.

Inspired by correspondence between the authors experience on how to not paint a bleak picture of the profession, and by a single comment left by a student on Berg’s course: “I would recommend adding in more positivity about the outlook of this career.” The article is mainly about Berg’s experiences.

Predictions about the dismal economic future of journalism have deep roots, but are linked to economic cycles and crises, such as the 2008 financial crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. The economic pinch is true – and felt particularly at the local level.

Berg balances between her role as an evangelist for the journalistic values, of First Amendment and intellectual honesty, and as a truth-teller about the challenges facing the profession.

She rejects the “we’re all journalists now” notion due to the lack of accountability it leads to, and supports scepticism toward audience comments. Instead, she celebrates the “economic turn” and gives a list of recommendations that have helped her understand and communicate the issues.

Read the full article “Reasons to Be Cheerful? The Short Supply of Optimism in Journalism Education” and the list of recommended reading from the Journal of Media Ethics (free abstract).

Picture: Beam of light on a forest road by John Towner, license Unsplash

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