Once upon a time, YouTube was a place to watch silly videos. Now, about ten hours of video is uploaded to the site every minute and many of those videos are actually news. A Google search of “news blog” brought up over a billion hits. Many people like watching or reading the news on the internet, rather than watching it at five o’clock — It’s just more convenient. So, are journalism programs implementing new media (online videos, websites, blogs) into their curriculum?
This interest in online news has not gone unnoticed by those involved in the education of future journalists. According to this article, it’s a race against the clock: the education system versus new media.
“I have become increasingly worried that the quality of mainstream journalism will decline before the transition is made to the new media formats,” says Leonard Tow. “We want to help speed the process of evolution and help prepare the next generation of journalists for a new media environment.”
The City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate School of Journalism, received $3-million from the Tow Foundation to establish the Tow Center for Journalistic Innovation. The Center will be devoted to developing new media news. A second journalism school in New York, The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, was given a $5-million grant for a similar purpose.
Many journalism schools are including new media in their programs. UC Berkeley Journalism has a New Media program that teaches students about video, audio, Flash animation and how these elements can be combined to make an interactive news medium.
At Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan, students can get their Bachelor of Science in New Media Printing and Publishing. Courses in this program include: Digital Multimedia Production, World Wide Web Publishing and Media Project Planning Management. Students must also complete a 400-hour internship before graduating.
At Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, there is a degree that might interest the future new media journalist: Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia Journalism. The B.A. in Multimedia Journalism includes writing, computer and art appreciation courses. If you are looking for something based on communications and world affairs, check out the Bachelor of Arts in Communication, Media, and Politics.
As for schools that plan to implement New Media in their journalism programs, the Reynolds Journalism Institute in Columbia, Missouri could not go unmentioned. To be finished sometime this year, the RJI is currently being built to serve the need for new media news and journalists to create and maintain these news websites, blogs, etc.
The future job prospects of a new media journalist looks promising. According to this article on Journalism.co.uk, “online and interactive media has been the biggest single change in the industry”. Yes, the industry is competitive. However, not all journalists have the computer skills that are needed to harness online journalism. As newspaper make their way out and websites, blogs and online news make their way in, more and more jobs in this field will open up.