Journalism educators need to be much more ambitious

Mitchell Stephens says too many journalism programs are dedicated to teaching the tried and true and too many journalism professors are determined to defend standard practices rather than try new approaches to encourage better journalistic methods, styles and approaches. Stephens, the author of The History of News and The Rise of the Image, the Fall of the Word, is currently writing a new book called The Future of Journalism Education due out in 2009. The book will encourage educators to dare to do better. He has already created a website for this project, which includes a link to a set of resources which Stephens calls “Academic Efforts that Aim to Challenge and Improve Journalism Practice.”  Most are links to unconventional journalism courses being taught by people who are trying to do more than teach current journalistic skills. They are a good source for new ideas.