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Journalism Degrees – Thing of the Past?

Are journalism degrees to become obsolete? Given technology and its continually morphing effect on how news is presented to the masses, some say the way journalism is taught at the collegiate level needs to evolve or die.

A series of recent studies by Poynter has found that while nearly all journalism professors believe what they are teaching is vital to training up the next generation of reporters and editors – many professionals in the field say, “not so much.”

Says Howard Finberg on Poynter:

Almost all educators (98 percent) say a degree is very important to extremely important when it comes to newsgathering skills. But only 59 percent of professionals share this view, with almost one in five saying a degree is not at all important or is only slightly important in terms of newsgathering.

There is a big disconnect between professional journalists and the academic community. But even journalism educators worry that journalism education isn’t keeping pace.

Thirty-nine percent of educators said journalism education is keeping up with industry changes not at all or a little. Newsroom leaders and staffers are even harsher, with 48 percent saying the academy isn’t keeping up with changes in the field.

As for whether a journalism degree is valuable when it comes to getting a job, the gap between professors and professionals is smaller. More than half (53 percent) of educators think a journalism degree is very to extremely important to getting a job. Forty-one percent of professionals share that belief.

Read the full report on Poynter’s survey results and what it all means here.

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