Death by academia

age where it belongsHave you ever wondered why you buy a daily newspaper not so often these days, if at all?  Today’s Australian provides a big part of the explanation: our universities are turning out legions of starry-eyed youngsters who regard their mission as being to interpret and filter the news, rather than merely report it.

“The media lecturers and tutors always talk about job opportunities in the field and, although they emphasise the value of having an open mind, there’s an assumption that no one would be interested in working for a newspaper like The Daily Telegraph, for example,” writes an un-named student.

“It’s quite limiting when looking for jobs after uni. Students have a negative view of working for News Corp, and would prefer to get a job at the (Sydney Morning) Herald.

“The times that we focused on News Corp, it’s often framed in a suspicious light, saying Rupert Murdoch has a monopoly of power. They talk about Murdoch having lots of power in relation to Foxtel and how he is trying to prevent competition arising through the NBN.”

Not so long ago, journalism was learned primarily on the job. You did a three- or four-year cadetship — in essence, an apprenticeship — mastered typing, shorthand, layouts, composing room protocols and endured the sometime abrasive mentoring of newsroom silverbacks and greybeards. At the end of the process you were expected to have absorbed the craft’s most fundamental wisdom: journalists barrack for the story, not the cause.

Now our universities are churning out post-pubescent propagandists and the news business is collapsing. If you can’t read a newspaper these days, thank a teacher.

More on the sad state of journalism training at the link below.

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