Wednesday, February 15, 2017

It's the J-school, Dammit

It pains me to agree with my former editor and now dean of that large j-school to the south of us from which I have my advanced degrees, but she's right in her recent post about the importance of journalism and the necessity of its name remaining in our colleges of mass and various communications.

In discussing the recent challenges to the field, she notes:
So what should a college of journalism do? A handful of our alumni have suggested that we take journalism out of our name and focus on a more contemporary approach to news and information. 
 I see it another way: I say we double down on fact-finding, truth-seeking and audience engagement. There has never been a more important time to affirm our allegiance to the standards and practices that are the bedrock of an informed citizenry. Our ethical codes are the right ones. Let’s reinforce them, not abandon them.
Back in 2013 I wrote about this in terms of a name change floated here at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. The title of that post says it all:

It'll Always Be The J-School, Dammit

And it will. As long as I'm here, at least.

I know the realities and the numbers. Public Relations and Advertising are far more popular majors for all kinds of reasons. That's fine and good and disappointing and a sign of the Apocalypse, but that doesn't mean we chase that popularity to change a school's name and forget our academic and professional and moral and Constitutional roots. Or to put it another way, as I did in my original post:

Lemme help you out folks.
 Henry W. Grady, he wasn't a PR guy.

So here's to Diane McFarlin. She got it right, both for UF and for us. All of us.

It'll always be the j-school, dammit.

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