JournalismJobs.com has published an interesting interview with Orville Schell, dean of the University of California, Berkeley, Graduate School of Journalism. He has much to say about the current state of affairs in journalism education. I found it difficult to choose what to highlight among his many thoughts. I found this interesting because it speaks to more than journalism:
JournalismJobs.com: Should journalism schools do more than teach the craft of journalism, and include courses that emphasize intellectual and theoretical rigor?
Orville Schell: In my view, absolutely. I think there’s a very narrow and uninteresting cast of mind that comes about when people start studying ‘journalism’ too early as undergraduates. They should be out doing history, politics, philosophy, art, literature. Even when they get to journalism school, in my view, they should construe a broad sense of what their mandate to study is. This is the last chance they’re going to get to become truly thoughtful, well-read, literate, politically-savvy people.
Amen. But I would go further and say this should be the attitude about any degree or professional track in higher education. Every day I encounter students who care only about getting a piece of paper that says they can do a certain job. Geez…