Many who spoke at the Online News Association conference in Toronto defined education (of the public) as an important part of journalists’ work. Most of us clearly do not feel the need to fulfill Toronto-raised Mary Harris “Mother” Jones‘ injunction to educate, agitate, organize (and not doing so is a disservice news organizations do to themselves and to society, I will argue later), but what would taking seriously the responsibility to educate, by itself, mean for news?
The related content to which this connects is an online video recommended at the conference by Jeff Young (of the Chronicle for Higher Education). The video, by Michael Wesch and his students at Kansas State University, suggests to me that defining journalism’s role in the 21st century as having an education component will necessarily tie it to new teaching technologies.
And that we need teaching/journalism technologies that reflect an interconnected, horizontal world. A world where the issue is as much organizing information as obtaining it. Michael Oreskes touched on this in his keynote at the conference, saying, in effect, that editors will be more important than ever. The video below poses the question – far better than I can – of how meaningful education relates to technology: