Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Is it Time to Mix Business with Pleasure?

The City University of New York recently unveiled the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism. What could this be? Entrepreneurial Journalism? Mixing business and journalism? I have always been taught journalists should away from the dirty business side but now some believe to stay relevant we need to crossover.

“I have long believed that telling journalists to keep our distance from the business of news made us poor stewards of journalism, so I think it is good to teach journalists how their business works, especially now. Finally, we see the opportunity for journalism students to make their own jobs, to create their own journalistic companies,” said Jeff Jarvis, the center's leader and an associate professor and director of CUNY's interactive journalism program.
Good point, Jarvis.

However, before every journalism school and journalists decide to become business savvy we should revamp how journalism is taught in general. How long are we going to cry over the death of the newspaper? At least we’ll be saving some tress, right? How many times will I see a professor roll their eyes at the idea of blogging? Sorry, but it’s taking over. Why don’t we work on making the new journalism college graduate relevant, period. Make them tech savvy. Teach them how to interview properly. Teach them how to fight for a story. Make them tough. Give them the tools before they graduate to produce stories that the American public will deem important. Before business is applied to journalism, we need the public to start trusting journalists again (it's safe to say we are hated) and give them a reason to want to keep us around. This may just be the first step in keeping the journalist relevant.

Read the Poynter Institute piece here: New CUNY Program to Equip Students to Start Journalism-Based Businesses

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