Old thinking at journalism school

Alana Taylor, a junior at NYU, has publicly slammed the J-school there for “old thinking.”  This fall, she’s taking what she terms one of the few courses NYU offers undergrads that focuses on new media and she’s sorely disappointed.  The course seems to be more about young news consumers than new media:

I was hoping that NYU would offer more classes where I could understand the importance of digital media, what it means, how to adapt to the new way of reporting, and learn from a professor who understands not only where the Internet is, but where it’s going.

Writing at MediaShift, Taylor admits the course she’s taking, “Reporting Gen Y (a.k.a. Quarterlifers),” doesn’t claim to be a new media class.  But she was surprised to find she was the only student in the room who has a blog.  And she’s irked that the professor insists that everyone bring the hard copy of the New York Times to class every week.

I hoped that perhaps my teacher would be open to the idea of investigating other sources of news from the Internet and discussing how they are reliable or not. I hoped that she wouldn’t refer to podcasts as “being a pain to download” and that being aware of and involved in the digital era wasn’t just a “generational” thing.

I am convinced that I am taking the only old-but-new-but-still-old media class in the country. At this point I may not learn too much I don’t already know about my generation and where it’s taking journalism. But one thing’s for sure — I’m certainly going to gain some insight into what exactly they mean by generation gap.

From what I’ve heard from students and faculty at other schools, Taylor is wrong about at least one thing.  There are still plenty of “old-but-new-but-still-old-media” classes being offered on college campuses across the country.  True?  And what’s it going to take to change that?


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