J-SCHOOL: EDUCATIONAL ASYLUM
I once dragged an 80-year-old journalist into a room and asked him if I should be going to j-school. He said, “Oh, Alvin, go study something else, unless this decision has to do with a woman.”
I’ve asked several other professional journalists — including some who teach journalism — and almost all have told me the same, minus the last part. They’ve said I don’t need to go to j-school to be a journalist. In fact, it might be better to study something else. And, in my limited experience, they’ve been right.
But some people are still lobbying for j-school. In this piece, a journalism professor says we shouldn’t dismiss j-school because of the crashing newspaper industry. He says more kids are applying to journalism grad school because of all the great thing j-school are doing — like teaching new media.
Wait, is he serious?
I have another theory: More kids are going to j-school because they can’t get a job, and figure they need to take education asylum in a graduate program.
I say this because I’ve had my thoughts of going to grad school — not because I feel a school is the best place to learn this craft, but because I’m scared I’ll be stuck in a) this economy of joblessness and b) this journalism transition.