Of course, what’s actually missing in journalism today is the ability to think critically. To the extent that kids these days can digitally converge on their keyboards and produce coherent sentences that come to rational conclusions, this increasingly rare gift is far more likely to be the result of possessing a knowledge of Latin grammar and having read the classics. Parks has it exactly backwards. But that’s assuming Parks thinks the goal of a journalism school is to teach students how to write and report. The Scrapbook knows better. The real purpose of journalism schools is to provide teaching sinecures for veteran journalists who might not otherwise enjoy the same prestige and comfortable salary they once expected from an industry they drove into the ground.
Harsh, but who can really argue with this? Students can learn by doing journalism, and it is so true that what they don’t know is how to find a story, how context and backgrounding work to make a good story, and how to interview a person in power without being a toady.