A warning from the future…

Rob Pongsajapan at Sinking Ships is musing about his alma mater’s online edition and its apparent fall from award-winning grace. Apparently, Rob worked on the online edition of the Indiana University student newspaper in his college years, but he speculates as to why the New Media talk at his school never went anywhere:

Online journalism is generally taught as a side skill rather than an achievable profession: “You have to know how to write—all this online stuff is secondary to that.” The system is set up so that only students who have an interest in online journalism that goes beyond the classroom/newsroom will go into online journalism; there isn’t a real online journalism track for the ordinary student to follow.

Hmm. I’m with Rob on the idea that an Online Journalism track (like this one at Ohio U) is the only way to actual train people to work on the online crews at major newspapers.

As much as I’ve learned, I’m still just flailing about at the edges of this stuff, trying to figure out what I need to learn to fit into the job-niches that are still open in the field. Luckily, most newspapers are in the same position — flailing about at the edges trying to figure out what they need to promote online to keep readers planted on their page, or to keep them subscribed to their feeds, or to keep them active in the forums.

So — if the hydraulics of a Journalism department allowed for a rearrangement of courses into some sort of online track, what would it look like?

[tags]j-school, newspapers, journalism, college newspapers, online journalism[/tags]