Showtime is Monday afternoon. Yes, the faculty have already received it, so I can freely blog about it.
This is merely a proposal, a "working document." The summer committee designed an initial try at combining our programs. Yes, we talked about core competencies and what peer institutions are up to, and yes we did all the homework you normally do before getting into the nitty gritty. Here's what the committee came up with the the core, what all students must take. The underlying assumption was all students need multimedia experience.
- Combined law and ethics class. The idea here is to expose students right off the bat to the tension between what journalists legally can do and what they ethically should do. Many programs hold this off until the end. That's a mistake.
- Reporting. A big lecture on all aspects of reporting, from interviewing to fact-finding to documents and the rest.
- Writing. Small classes, 16 or 18 or so, focused on writing across platforms.
- Skill building, in which students pick from a set of 1-hour or 2-hour specific classes on video, photo, graphics, and coding. Perhaps others.
- Multiplatform story production. The guts of the curriculum, in many ways, with work possibly finding its way online at Newsource.
- Capstone experience in Newsource, our newsroom. Two sections will specifically be tied to the television news show, four sections to special projects that appear either online or on the broadcast.
- Management, innovation, and entrepreneurship
- Investigative Reporting
- Feature Writing (magazine students, for example, may go here)
Okay, so what's the response likely to be on Monday? Well, anyone who feels "their" class isn't the most important, or is being watered down, they'll damn sure speak up. It's all about us, after all.
Do I like it?
Not so much, and I was on the committee that created the damn thing. I think it's a good first shot, and I'm sorta kinda with the whole teaching hospital approach of using Newsource as our anchor experience. But I dislike big cores. I dislike cookie-cutter approaches to education. So really it comes down to some interesting philosophical differences. Do you want all students to have a lot of the same experiences, or do you want students to pick from a buffet of classes that fit their particular interests? Importantly -- which would you hire? A specialist? Or a generalist?
Tomorrow is gonna be fun.