J-profs and j-students rate each other

A very public disagreement between two Carleton journalism professors about journalism students played itself out on the opinion pages of the Ottawa Citizen this past week.

It all began with a column by Associate Professor Andrew Cohen called “Students of Mediocrity” in which he wrote about what he called “the trouble with today’s students — their erratic work ethic, their shallow research, their lack of intellectual depth, their sense of entitlement.”

That prompted a response from Assistant Professor Dave Tait called “It’s what students can do when they leave us that counts” in which he argued “Bashing teachers, education and especially Today’s Youth will always bring out nodding heads by the thousands…The students I teach are smarter and better in many ways than I was at their age.”

Not surprisingly journalism students, past and present, found both columns fascinating to read and quickly shared them with each other, along with their own commentary, on sites like Facebook and Twitter. A few of them stepped outside that world, too, to post comments on the newspaper’s website.

For them, it was an unusual peek inside the kind of debates that go on among teachers. It was also their chance to grade their teachers, for a change.