Friday, September 10, 2010

Journalism: dying field, endangered course?

Corey Jones of the Topeka Capital-Journal reports on Kansas eliminating funds for high school journalism class because it’s not a growth field. The funding has been provided through vocational streams, which is why it is at risk. But why isn’t it funded as an English class? As a profession, journalism cannot be any more endangered than humanities scholar, but students still learn Shakespeare.


  1. Hi Linda, I work at the middle level -- college and career readiness. (The MIddle School Student's Guide to Ruling the World!) I understand that resources - both time and money - are so scarce and tough choices have to be made. But I am puzzled why programs like journalism, that engage students in writing and editing, current events, collaborative learning, project management, graphics and layout, and even a little business education, are cut in favor of some others that really offer very little for college and career readiness. Schools continue to fund classes like dance, ceramics (or worse, tech classes that use outmoded hardware and outdated software.) Don't get me wrong! I like dance, ceramics and, to quote Kip from Napoleon Dynamite: "I love technology." But the reality we face is that some of those students learning to cha-cha or make a vase can't read at grade level, and are in serious risk of failing. They'd be far better off spending time in a class like journalism.

  2. I've been startled to discover that a lot of parents of college journalism majors really have no idea at all that it's a dead field as far as future careers go, though, unless their bright-eyed and energetic kids come up with an innovative income stream to save the industry. Otherwise ... (gesture of hand slashing across throat).

    My son actually works a few hours a month as a PAID copy editor for his college newspaper (the Oberlin Review) -- thanks to federal work-study funding, which is need-based. His major is jazz trumpet. A former colleague from the San Jose Mercury News Metro copy desk semi-joked that my son will have jazz trumpet to fall back on.