"far and away" #1 RT @MizzouNews NewsPro-RTDNA Poll Ranks MU as the top-ranked School of Journalism http://t.co/uvtwC5kyezand
— Patrick Terpstra (@PatrickTerpstra) December 18, 2014
J-school was "once again far and away the No. 1 choice as the top J-school in the country." http://t.co/CsK3hz6czC @JESS_is_a_mess_All well and good. As I mentioned in my post from the link above, UGA (where I teach) finished 2nd (Go Dawgs). Setting aside our own congratulatory tweets, others wondered about why their school didn't finish higher. For example:
— Chris Brown STL (@cbrownstl) December 17, 2014
Ugh we made the list but we need to step it up @UFJSchool http://t.co/9Mp4T28PxGand
— matthew ramirez (@MattRamirez58) December 17, 2014
RTDNA : The Top 20 Journalism Schools 2014: How is #USC Annenberg not in the top 10? http://t.co/nue0pnLTGa
— Terry Anzur (@terryanzur) December 17, 2014
I can answer that last one. You probably didn't have someone go out of their way to recruit people to vote. Look hard at the list. Many names you expect to see, one or two are -- let's be honest -- kinda surprising. Troy University? Lyndon State College? Fine schools, I'm sure, but nowhere near as good as many of the programs beneath them. Read my earlier post above for my methodological critique, or see the graf below.
Let me put my PhDweeb hat on for a second. It's damn near impossible to define what makes a program "top" or "best," and it's even more difficult to objectively craft a way to measure what you mean by "top" or "best" and you certainly don't turn it into a beauty contest by having people vote in a way in which they can be recruited. Now, you sputter, if everyone recruits then that all comes out in the wash. No, I reply, you can't assume some systematic bias in that. Some schools are likely to recruit more, take it more seriously, and I suspect that is seen in some of the results.
What makes a program the best? The one that works for you, the student. Finally, I leave you with this tweet, which I think gets at the heart of the matter:
RTDNA survey claims it names "Top 20 Journalism Schools" but produces another oddly mixed list #edshift http://t.co/cXPoHklNpx
— Eric Newton (@EricNewton1) December 17, 2014