Thursday, December 18, 2014

Twitter Reaction to Best Journalism School Poll

The RTDNA survey to rank the top journalism programs, has generated some reaction via Twitter, most of it is from Mizzou folks noting they're "far and away" #1, and rightly so. Even if it's a methodologically flawed poll, you have to admit Mizzou is a helluva program. So ya get tweets like:
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:

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:

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