Article Discussed: Incoming journalists are tech savvy but lack ‘the basics’
The research team, led by professor Ferrucci, an assistant professor of journalism in the College of Media, Communication and Information of University of Colorado Boulder, has recently found out that incoming journalists lack news judgment, interviewing skills, and writing chops, ‘the basics of journalism.’
In one study, whose subjects were full-time digital journalists, including reporters, editors or producers, 93% of the interviewed said that newcomers did not have enough training in traditional reporting skills. Professor Ferrucci commented on this result that it is because journalism programs could not longer teach students in the traditional manner due to the rise of the internet and the increasing need of technological proficiency.
On the other hand, another study revealed that unlike veteran journalists who measure their success by the impact of their content(stories) on others, younger journalists tend to pay attention to personal recognition through social media and seeing their writings go viral online. Namely, for those with less experience, the success of their own profile becomes the subject of primary interest regardless of the quality of their works.
The diminishing value of the fundamentals of journalism among the younger generation seems to be greatly influenced by the journalism school program’s excessive focus on technology. It is an ironic reversal of the order that incoming journalists do not specialize in conducting interview and reporting news although they are good at photo and video editing. For the balance between the conventional and new media, a well-rounded education needs to be established in the journalism program standing in the wave of digital revolution. Rather than the separation of writing and programming by courses, a single class combining the two would be helpful in terms of the education in both journalism ethics and the multimedia skillset.