Last updated: June 13, 2019
Topic: ArtRadio
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Radio/TV Journalism Higher Education: Shortcomings and Areas of Dissatisfaction


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In 2006, Sevening carried out a survey of 50 media professionals with at least five years of experience in communications/journalism at the professional level. Eleven Midwest different states were represented in the study.

By and large, professionals disparaged the value of college education. “Over half of the employers surveyed stated they would rather work with someone with years of experience rather than years of education.” At the same time, most respondents (90%) believed faculty members should be experienced. Prospective employers felt “universities spent too much time on theory and not enough time on practical issues.

Sevening, Ryan L. “Balancing education and experience in broadcasting/video production: Employer perceptions regarding recent college graduates.”  Diss. University of South Dakota, 2006.


During the past 20 years, daily newspapers have paid increasing attention to coverage of business and economics, areas that require specialized knowledge for reporters and editors. The level of education and training in business and economics is unknown. Eighteen reporters and editors at West Coast newspapers were interviewed to assess what education and professional training they received, and what they believe is necessary, as well as to develop an understanding of their job histories. The study found that most of the journalists majored in communications or journalism, although a few had either business majors or minors. Two editors held MBAs. All also had received professional training since graduating. They believed business journalists needed to take courses in business and economics, and that reporters covering any topic need a grounding in how money works. Further study of this area is warranted, in both a broader scope and in other regions of the country.

Ludwig, Mark Donald. “Academic and professional training of business journalists at West Coast newspapers.” Diss. California State University, Fullerton, 2001.


In an investigation of a promotional campaign collaboration between college and media organizations, evidence was found of hasty and limited planning, vulnerability to operational problems and “potentially controversial issues of the collaboration”.

Gyure, James F. “Organizational identity and partnership with media: A case study from higher education.”  Diss. The Pennsylvania State University, 2005.


The Supreme Court recently refused to hear the appeal of a Seventh Circuit case called Hosty v. Carter. In that case, the dean of an Illinois public university escaped personal liability for her censorial actions. This case might be interpreted as permitting administrative censorship of college student media.

Belmas , Genelle, Christopher Burnett and David L. Adams. “Hostile to Hosty? What College Media Advisers Think.” Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication convention abstracts, 2006.


A study employing observation and interviews suggested that Interactive TV has built-in limitations. While it enables distance learning, ITV students are worse off for teachers who do not adopt to the medium by connecting to, and engaging with, students in more vigorous fashion.

Zhao, Liang. “Technology, teaching, and learning in the interactive television environment: An ethnography.”  Diss. State University of New York at Buffalo, 2005.


Peer-editing groups had been suggested as possibility for improving the quality of student writing. A quantitative study on news writing students doing graded, student writing revealed that “peer-editing did not produce significantly better scores. The results suggest that peer-editing groups be implemented when the instructor wishes to enhance students’ self-esteem, but instructors should not expect gains in final scores.”

Fisher, Howard D. and Coy Callison “Teaching News Writing To Mass Communications Students: How Peer Editing Influences Learning And Perceptions Of Instruction” Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication convention abstracts, 2006.


A performance review of the Mass Communications Program revealed incompatibilities between student needs, on one hand, and the competence of professors handling certain courses and course availability, on the other.  In one or two cases professors teaching a doctoral seminar were reassigned teaching responsibilities in subsequent semesters to better match faculty strengths to course content.

The Graduate Council performed a complete curricular review of the Master of Mass Communication degree program. This resulted in substantial changes, involving a repositioning of the program to appeal to students interested in advertising/public relations through an emphasis in integrated communications that has been proposed to the CHE.

New courses were developed to replace other seminars less pertinent to current student needs.

University of South Carolina Columbia . “Act 629 – Summary Reports on Institutional Effectiveness.” Fiscal Year 1998-1999.


Faculty and students at Northwestern University’s highly-respected Medill School of Journalism are up in arms is about a revamped curriculum that, among others:

ü  Adds more Marketing content to the Journalism curriculum to make it “more relevant to the 21st century”;

ü  Obliges (but does not reimburse) students to equip themselves with laptops, video iPods and digital camcorders so they can do field reporting sooner;

ü  Trains them to be conversant in multimedia and “broadcast news” online via “new media” like blogs and podcasts on the grounds that employers much prefer students who are already versatile; and,

ü  Puts a heavier burden on professors handling writing skills seminars.

Faculty and students protest that these curriculum changes will “dilute the schools’ focus on strong writing and reporting”.

Mangan, Katherine. “Journalism dean at Northwestern U. develops curriculum with increased emphasis on multimedia and marketing.” The Chronicle of Higher Education (Illinois Board of Higher Education), 20 July 2007: 11-14.


An exploratory look into the merits of including trauma training in the journalism classroom. Qualitative interviews with students who covered a death-penalty murder trial and results from a quantitative survey of journalism students were combined to show that preparing students for the emotional reactions they may experience while covering the news is not only needed by wanted by the students themselves. Implications and directions for future research are also discussed.

Dworznik, Gretchen and Grubb, Max. “Preparing for the Worst: Making a Case for Trauma Training in the Journalism Classroom.” Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication convention abstracts, 2006.


Still, as ever, the College needs space and equipment. Classrooms are used to the limit.  Finding space for outside workshops to be held in the College (which is where professional groups affiliated with the College want to hold them) is next to impossible, even on Fridays and weekends.

Among the reasons why the College lost its accreditation in 1997 was the need to upgrade classrooms to meet the needs of Internet and Web searching and to perform multimedia tasks.


Submission of the College of Communication and Information Sciences of the University of Alabama to the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, 2002.



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