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    Old Thinking Permeates Major Journalism School

    by Alana Taylor
    September 5, 2008
    Professor Quigley's class during a break
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    Alana Taylor

    “Nowadays it’s essential for journalists to blog,” says Professor Mary Quigley to a class of 16 NYU journalism students. The class is titled “Reporting Gen Y (a.k.a. Quarterlifers),” and it’s one of the few NYU undergrad journalism classes that focuses on new media.

    I sit in Professor Quigley’s class unsure of what to expect. As a member of Generation Y, I am in touch with what my peers find popular — the Internet, iPods, flip-flops, cell phones, etc. — but as a social media maven on the Internet I am an exception to the other 15 students in the class.

    I am not a typical Quarterlifer. Yes, I have a Facebook account. But I also do so much more. I have a personal blog (which includes videos), I use the popular microblogging service Twitter, I am a blogger and web video correspondent part-time for Mashable (one of the top blogs on social media), and I assist heavily with the social media/marketing department for Classic Media, Inc. (a family programming company). I am deeply involved in social media, new media, technology, “the move to digital” — whatever you want to call it.

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    Over the past two years I have been watching as magazines and other publications have taken hard hits economically while trying to migrate online. I have heard Jay Rosen speak about blogs and how important they are for citizen journalism. And in 2008 I made a decision to try to stay ahead of the game by joining the “early adopters” of the digital era.

    Disappointment at NYU

    What is so fascinating about the move from print to digital is the freedom to be your own publisher, editor, marketer, and brand. But, surprisingly, NYU does not offer the kinds of classes I want. It continues to focus its core requirements around learning how to work your way up the traditional journalism ladder. Here is the thinking I find here:

    1. Get an internship at a magazine or newspaper. “This is good for your resume.”
    2. Bring the New York Times to class. The hard copy. “It’s the only way to get the news.”
    3. Learn how to write for a magazine or newspaper. “Writing for blogs or websites is not journalism.”
    4. Become an editor at a magazine or newspaper. “This is the only respectable position.”

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    Obviously, I am being a bit facetious here, but the truth of the matter is that by the time my generation, Gen Y, gets into the real world there will be a much higher demand for web-savvy writers and thinkers than traditional Woodwards and Bernsteins.

    I was hoping that NYU would offer more classes where I could understand the importance of digital media, what it means, how to adapt to the new way of reporting, and learn from a professor who understands not only where the Internet is, but where it’s going.

    This class, “Reporting Gen Y,” focuses more on how to write for “the book” (i.e., a magazine). It looks at whether Generation Y is really unique and distinct, and if so, in what ways. This semester my class will examine various aspects of Gen Y life from “emerging adulthood,” to relationships, technology, work, and politics.

    In defense of my professor (who is very talented and has written two books, which include extensive research on generational issues), this course does not claim to be a new media class or to teach about digital or citizen journalism. So I am in no position to complain. But in defense of my peers at NYU, I think that such a modern and open-minded school such as ours should give us more options.

    The Only Blogger in the Room

    The first thing I notice when I walk into the class is that there are 14 girls and two boys. Already NYU is dominated by females, but the journalism department is exceptionally estrogen-infested. Professor Quigley begins by explaining how blogs are becoming more important and asks if any of us have a blog.

    One hand slowly rises. It’s mine. None of the other students in the class have a blog. It comes as a shock to me that the students in a class about “how our generation is very much invested in the Internet” are not actually as involved. Again, perhaps I am an exception to the norm, but I like to think that having a blog is as normal as having a car.

    What surprises me further is when Professor Quigley informs us that people actually get paid to blog. That they make a living off of this. For me this was very much a “duh” moment and I thought that it would be for the rest of the students as well. They should be fully aware at this point that blogging has become a very serious form of journalism. Furthermore, they should be aware that it is the one journalistic venture that requires little or no ladder-climbing. You can start at any age, with almost no experience, and actually get published instead of fetch coffee. Luckily, Quigley is one of the few NYU professors who understands this in some way.

    On other subjects, however, I found Quigley lacking in understanding. Again, I don’t expect her to be an expert on the world of social media, but for some reason I am unsettled at the thought of having a teacher who is teaching me about the culture of my generation. For example, she said one of the character traits of our generation was an unwillingness to interact with people face to face because we “spend so much time online.”

    In my experience, the Baby Boomers often think the Quarterlifers are anti-social because they socialize on Facebook and MySpace. I would argue that we actually spend more time interacting with others than the previous generation who didn’t have many forms of communication and typically spent more time sitting in front of the television or with a couple of the same old friends. For our generation it’s easier to get in touch, organize a meetup, throw together a party, ask someone out on a date.

    At the halfway point in the class, Quigley lets us go on a break. In the bathroom I run into an old classmate who asks me if I am going to stay in the class. I ask her if she doesn’t like it and she responds that she is worried of it being too “all-over the place” or “disorganized” or “confusing.”

    i-4d2a30f732b2962fa6e920b98e119eb3-taylor twitter.jpg
    Frustrated Twitter message during class

    I immediately get what she means. This is the first time that Professor Quigley or anyone in the undergrad journalism department at NYU has taught a class on this subject. And we all know that first-time classes are “test runs.” They don’t follow the syllabus too closely and they don’t grade too fairly because assignments are based on different levels of creativity and experience.

    My classmate and I had gone through a similar situation just last semester when our professor had experimented with creating a class blog. It failed miserably because the teacher figured that we could be editors and writers as in a magazine. Blogs don’t really work the same way and the articles are certainly not written the same way. This is the same class in which I decided to write a paper on women in technology and how easy and important it is for more girls to get involved in new media. When I pitched this story my teacher wasn’t very convinced that my topic mattered. I ended up publishing it on my personal blog and landing my first job. I got a B on the paper.

    Getting Beyond Print

    Back in class, Quigley tells us we have to remember to bring in the hard copy of the New York Times every week. I take a deep sigh. Every single journalism class at NYU has required me to bring the bulky newspaper. I don’t understand why they don’t let us access the online version, get our current events news from other outlets, or even use our NYTimes app on the iPhone. Bringing the New York Times pains me because I refuse to believe that it’s the only source for credible news or Pulitzer Prize-winning journalism and it’s a big waste of trees.

    At least I had hoped that this class would be more advanced. I hoped that perhaps my teacher would be open to the idea of investigating other sources of news from the Internet and discussing how they are reliable or not. I hoped that she wouldn’t refer to podcasts as “being a pain to download” and that being aware of and involved in the digital era wasn’t just a “generational” thing.

    I am convinced that I am taking the only old-but-new-but-still-old media class in the country. At this point I may not learn too much I don’t already know about my generation and where it’s taking journalism. But one thing’s for sure — I’m certainly going to gain some insight into what exactly they mean by generation gap.

    Alana Taylor is a junior at New York University, double-majoring in journalism and history with a strong interest in film, entertainment, new media and technology. She currently manages her own blog, and works part-time for both Classic Media Inc. — a production company/distributor of family programming — and Mashable, the world’s most popular social networking blog.

    Tagged: education journalism skills teaching
    • suzy pink

      I don’t think bringing The Times to class is a lot to ask. Sure, you can find articles on the web, but not everything is listed right there on the homepage. Some of the best (and important) articles are buried on page 23 and you wouldn’t ever know about them by casually looking at the site. Even though I read it online everyday, I still read the actual paper most days. Plus the web versions are abbreviated articles. Other than than, the class sounds a lot it should be taught to the department heads, not students. Where is the class on how to monetize your blog? That’s the one I want to take.

    • Michael

      Stop telling these kids that they can make a living with their own personal blogs. It’s downright criminal to teach this. Also, can someone please inform them that trees used to make pulp to make paper are a crop, not a precious natural resource.

    • Brian

      I read all the current posts on your blog. Many of them included a photo but not even an entire paragraph of writing, and you admitted you didn’t even remember writing one of the entries. It’s great that you know how to blog, but so far you don’t seem to be generating much original content, so it’s premature for you to be dictating what’s right and wrong about the teaching of journalism. These days, being young and tech-aware is not as impressive as having the attention span of someone who still reads print.

    • Jim

      Run away. Drop this class. Drop the major. No senior editor in their right mind would advocate a journalism major in clear conscience. Pick up English or a digital media hybrid. Your in the early adopter crowd, now work on the basics.

      Life is to short to take a class for a grade, or take a major for brand recognition.

    • zach

      You can get the entire New York Times on your Kindle. Even this professor ought to know what a Kindle is.

    • Brian, you’re right about having posted pictures lately. I’ve been too busy starting school, writing for MediaShift, Mashable, and my other job.

      I have also had very “light” posts lately because it was the summer and I was outside enjoying the sun.

      My blog isn’t professional. My blog is personal. It is tidbits of my everyday life. Short thoughts, ideas, pictures.

      If you want to see my professional writing you can read my posts on Mashable here: http://mashable.com/author/alana-taylor/

      Thanks! :)

    • Megan

      I would recommend looking into the Interactive Communications program at Quinnipiac, although yes they teach us the old style of writing, they are also teaching us how to do the new style as well. https://myq.quinnipiac.edu/Academics/Graduate%20Programs/Pages/default.aspx

    • Incitatus

      Aah the arrogance of youth!!

    • One of the curious aspects of your article is that it suggests media should be learning from you rather than you learning from the established media. While revolution is all fine and dandy, your focus on what is wrong with old media may prevent you from grasping what is wrong with new media. The lack of deep critical reflection on what you bring to the media is one of the major downsides to those of us who are in the generation ahead of you. Remember that most writers of substance have always feared journalism as something that could too easily get in the way of producing work of genuine worth. Cyril Connolly constantly reminded Orwell to stop frittering away his talent and time on writing pap, and to focus on producing work of greater depth, which he did for Connolly’s publication, Horizon. Just because twitter is there, doesn’t mean it’s good or even useful. But how can you ever get to this point of critical realization when you seem so certain that new is right and old is wrong?

    • Steve

      I must say, I hear and agree with some of what you are saying and quite enjoyed your article, but in the end I feel much as Trevor in the post above me seems to feel: confidence can too easily turn to arrogance. I hope you don’t go that route.

    • Thanks for expressing your opinions on the presence (or lack) of digital/social media in your curriculum. It’s important for faculty and administrators to be aware of student expectations in this dynamic environment. It requires instructors that are committed to change and continuous learning and a curriculum that is flexible enough to accommodate. It is truly an opportunity for instructors and students to learn from each other. Personally, I’m excited about what all this means for the future of media. And, it doesn’t matter if the author comes off as arrogant or smug. This is what students are thinking, and I value the transparency.

    • http://nyulocal.com.

      Though the school is old media, the students don’t have to be. Check out NYU Local, our new campus newspaper that is published entirely online.

    • jen

      The shift in media is something that is relatively new. The new media vs old media debate is still in the works and although I am an early-adopter myself, I don’t expect others to be the same. I graduated from from an ivy league school just a year ago and there were no “new media” classes. Social media is a new “thing” that some people just don’t get (yet!)
      Take these experiences as a learning process. Understand the shift in media for what it is while continuing to learn about new media. There is no need to roll your eyes at a professor or groan at his or her syllabus.

    • This is why I’m not a journalism major. It’s also why I too have to plug NYU Local.

    • Willie Mays

      Admit it, the reading gives you a headache.

      God bless the ADD generation.

    • This is just great Alana. You’ve made me reminding my lecturers who do not even have a blog till now. About that “online vs offline” issue, I can only predict that the future will be online, especially for such daily news that a newspapers are used to have – sometimes news even comes in a minute-by-minute instead of daily.

      Hmmm, oh yeah. You’re a sweet girl too. Be careful Ok, cause you’re on the big NY city.

      Regards from Indonesia.

    • Alana,

      You are not only a journalism major, but a history major, so you ought to have a appreciation for the genesis, history and development of mass media.

      Blogs and social media are not the be-all and end-all of the developing digital world. Perhaps they are not even journalism, but some other kind of animal.

      All those big media companies have spent millions upon millions trying to figure out how to monetize a digital product. You can probably count the profitable enterprises on one hand. If the big guys are still puzzled, do you really expect an academic to have the immediate answers?

      Meanwhile, the basics will serve you well in both the print and digital world. In the beginning there was the WORD… and spelling, and grammar. And accuracy, too. Learn how to cover a beat, string ideas in a coherent manner, and serve your readers.

      If that is not in your blood, a journalism major is not really what you should be.

      Journalism in print, digital, video, (or whatever is next) is a calling, not a hobby.

      If you don’t love it, it is just a job.

      Find what you love. Do that.

    • If the student hasn’t learned, the teacher hasn’t taught.
      How I wish my generation (X) could understand that.
      You’re the new generation, the one who does not merely accept but wants people to prove what they say. That’s good.
      Gen X does not always understand that.
      Good luck with the studies!

    • Hi Alana,

      very thoughtful post! and you’ve confirmed something that I’ve (in my work & travels) see going on –that Gen Y doesn’t have all the answers when it comes to social media any more than other generations.

      I say that in reference to your observations about your classmates. You seem to be a bit ahead of the curve, and that will work in your favor you once you leave school. Your peers, however, will have to start engaging properly with social media. I’d hazard a guess that lots have Facebook or MySpace pages–but I’d also guess that many don’t know that potential employers, whether in journalism or other forms of media/marketing/public relations will be looking at their online profiles.

      At a recent conference I attended, an executive from a well-known marketing and p.r. firm told the room that his people look for Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc. not to see if young people know how to use them, but to see what young people say about themselves. What you say about yourself can affect your potential to get an internship and perhaps even a job. You may, however, never know. Nothing in employment law says they have to tell you that it was your wet t-shirt contest picture that blew it for you.

      But if you have nothing online, that could affect you too. You may be perceived as “inexperienced” in the world of new media.

      Yet it’s the folks of my generation, Gen X and the Boomers, that are perpetuating the idea that your generation knows it all, has figured it all out, and we don’t need to teach you. Talk about buying media hype! And we’re not particularly guiding you the way we could if we took responsibility for our own lack of knowledge.

      Bottom line is: no one generation knows it all. We are in a huge, perhaps historical, change in how we communicate and disseminate information. Our educational institutions haven’t caught up because of the upheaval and uncertainty that comes with change. Because business models are failing (across many forms of media, not just newspapers) there are groups looking to shore up the old model while new models haven’t totally shaken out yet.

      I’m often reminded of the old Chinese curse: May you live in interesting times. And as such, don’t expect educators, bosses or anyone, including your peers, to know all the moving parts. Learn what you can about the old, continue to do what you’re doing with the new, and don’t expect anyone to give you a complete package.

    • Paul

      I think most of the comments missed the point of this article, which was to outline the fact that major colleges are still basing their journalism courses on old-school thinking.

      Alana is not being conceited, naive or ADD. She’s merely pointing out that Gen Y’ers–or most of them–are using and reading other forms of media, rather than print papers. Therefore, media outlets need to adopt to reader needs, not vice-versa.

      Print publications are hemorrhaging money by the millions because they refuse or are slow to learn how to adopt to new media outlets. If journalism is to survive, schools and publications also need to start addressing the adoption of new media in our schools as well as our news rooms. And fast!!

      Alana is dead-on in her assessment. It’s time that schools and news outlets start addressing how to utilize new media with all their energy. Furthermore, these organizations need to start figuring out how to engage in the news conversation, as well as getting vetted information out to readers in many types of formats.

      Failure to do that smacks of arrogance and fear on the part of media professionals and could eventually lead to the financial and intellectual bankruptcy of a journalism industry who’s reputation is declining among mass readership.

    • James

      Alana: You are right about the future of journalism being online. But you are wrong about traditional media.

      I hire people from your generation who are very tech savvy. They’re hard pressed to craft a grammatically correct sentence, which most of our readers want to read in the print edition — the medium they still turn to the most.

      Few of these tech-savvy Gen Y’ers also have a grounding in ethics, reporting techniques and narrative writing skills.

      Our profession must embrace the digital age but can’t ignore its traditions and how it has evolved over time. And you’re extremely lucky that you can access The New York Times’ print edition. Despite its flaws, and there are many, it’s the best newspaper in the history of the world.

    • thom

      Just visited your early-adopter, new media, gen Y blog, Alana. Read your post about how cool it was to find goggles for triathlon training on sale. Then the one where you are sitting for a long time in a coffee shop, thinking.

      Back to the NY Times.

    • paul

      Expecting a teacher, especially a university-level teacher, to actually teach anything relevant is wishful thinking. First, remember the old saying – Those who can, do. Those who can’t teach. Universally true – obviously not, but a valid generalization none-the-less. Second, any teacher that uses the New York Times as “the standard” is ignorant. At one time I believe the paper was excellent, but today it can be held up as nothing more than an example of how a virtual institution has become nothing more than an instrument of agenda journalism – a notch above The Enquirer, but still of the same ilk.

      Universities change so slowly by virtue of their bureaucracies and little things like tenure that virtually everything that is being “taught” is already obsolete.

      The best one can do is think of the university experience as an obstacle course to the real goal which is the piece of paper at the end. Survive till the diploma, then get out into the real world and begin the real learning. Hopefully the student will have learned how to learn along the way and e able to tap the wealth of information provided by the internet and other means to gain what is “really” needed to be productive and profitable.

    • how did you learn social? by doing, right?

      now learn how to write news the old skool way and post it on your blog..
      you already understand the social part of the equation, you don’t need a class in twitter, just learn how to writenews” in the journalism class.

      =)

    • Whew, commentors – lots of that curmudgeon reaction that Jeff Jarvis talks about is showing up.

      Alana, your description rings true. As a teacher, I’ve had the “new course” issue where you hit some good things, but miss some too, in the first go-round. Personally, I read three newspapers in print everyday, but I do that from home, on my counter with my coffee. Who wants to carry paper around? I have been critical of many journalism students because they don’t set up a systematic way of surveying the news which would give them an experience like the “mosaic” of the print newspaper. However, I teach them how to use e-lerts and RSS to set up a survey of the news they like and some that “is good for them.”

      Lots of my blogging students or ones who are writing for money online, do not want to admit this to journalism teachers because many of the teachers have a bias toward traditional media. This creates an interesting divide, whether it is generational or not, between the writing they do and get paid, but get no couching or academic assistance with, and the too often fake writing they do in class “for the teacher.”

      At my college, most classes now use a content-managment system (near-time.net) to post all their stories. It is interesting how much better stories get when the students realize the whole class sees, comments, and critiques their work.

      When I am online doing social networking, and reading mashable stories, for example, no one knows I am closer to 60 than 50. Nor do I do immediately think, “how old is writer of this story?”

      The writing, whether it is mine as some kind of authority or power figure as a college professor, or whether it is Alana’s or another students (or as they say on the Internet, the writing of a dog) is commonly judged on its merits, transparency, organization, but also on whether it fits my needs as a viewer/user/reader, at that moment. Too often in classrooms, we all experience dominated discourse owing to our roles (teacher above student) rather than to the quality of our thinking, our ideas, and what we bring to a learning environment.

      In classes like the one Alana described, the teacher and students need to work together as a learning team, to make connections and sense of what blogging is or will be. The learning environment needs to be a process that produces a map of the content studied, a couple of principles learned, and a focused set of questions that couldn’t be answered during the semester.

      Teachers are often awkward ceding authority and working with students to discover connections together. They fear admitting that they are learners too. And many Gen Yers tend to resort to asking, “What do I have to do for an “A”?” They don’t want to participate in learning and discourse. They just want to know what will be on test.

      If only learning were like a haircut. Plunk down your money, sit in chair, haircutter works on you, you see your new look in a mirror.

      Learning is like a trip, and a good teacher shares his/her map with you, and takes you over the territory, pointing out high and low points, flora and fauna, perils and dead-ends. Yet you have to organize your experiences for yourself. You keep a own journal, you take photos, you blog about the trip. At the end you might even be tired, uncomfortable, and cranky, and glad the trip is over, but you got home safe, and you learned about the area you covered.

      Good luck, Alana. Good luck NYU. Good luck, jouralism education in the 21st century.

    • Alana points are, or should be, well-taken, but she leaves untouched the vital question that Suzy Pink asked: How to turn this relative expertise in social media into a sustainable source of income. My sense is that blogging is a very flat pyramid––the revenue it generates makes for great beer money, but where to once Alana graduates to the real world where she needs to pay back her NYU student loans?

      The answer will comes from the NYU business school, not the j-school.

      That said, the larger lesson here is that the cluelessness of the establishment has created a vacuum that people Alana are gonna try to fill. And for all her sophmoric arrogance, I have more faith in the forward-looking Alana’s of the world than I do in the dead-tree dead-enders like her prof. Yes, the old school still has much that is valuable to teach the new, but this reactionary clinging to the paper product reeks of desperation and a backwardness can only hurt the industry and turn off students.

      Alana, take some business classes. Journalism isn’t the first industry to undergo serious technological change. B-school profs get it (at least they did at Stanford), and I think they’re insights will be more useful than taking a new media class with an old person.

    • Blogging may not be journalism, but it sure gives our students a very good outlet to voice their opinions and comments. I am teaching a course at Ole Miss ahead of the first presidential debate that will take place here on Sept. 26 and I have created a blog for the students to voice their opinions and views. I was positively surprised by the quality of their entries. Check it here at debatethisolemiss.blogspot.com

    • Matt

      Alana – I’m in NYU’s grad program, and your words are music to my ears. I had a prof (Latty) for a “multi-media” class demand we bring the paper paper out of fealty to the industry (she’s the product of buy-outs). And the multi-media instruction was entirely technical–how to point and shoot et al. I really haven’t encountered too many profs who have both a vision for how to use self-published multi-media platforms, and the experience to impart how to do it well. There seems to be two tracts: the old hands who are either dismissive or oblivious; and those for whom “internet journalism” makes sense in concept but nothing more — Quigley seems to be somewhere in between. Anyway, good post, glad to read it, good luck. Matt Schwarzfeld (mws272)

    • Ace

      Often times, journalism students think “old thinking” equals actually knowing how to report and write in some coherent manner. There is a bad new age idea out there that it’s OK to write however you want and do “journalism” without reporting.

      But in the end, content is king, no matter how you present it. And the internet does not change that.

    • katie

      my advice to would-be journalist?

      1. Don’t be distracted by this article. or by the comments that followed it. digital? print? blogging? newspapers? NYT? no NYT? who cares? I certainly don’t and I’m in a position to do hiring.

      2. Learn how to be a good journalist, regardless of the medium. In my opinion, the industry will always need people who have two things:

      a. reporting skills
      b. editing skills

      This applies to writing, photography, video, audio, whatever. do you know what makes a good story? do you know how to execute it?

      When you are looking for work, it’s going to be hard because journalism is competitive. If you have skills they need, they’ll hire you. If you don’t, you’ll probably go into marketing.

      3. Be a news junky. I went to the University of Missouri, Columbia, and thank god no one told me to carry the NYT in my bag! I was already hauling around a really heavy camera, which was much more useful, but back breaking. And I had a notebook. I suppose if you live in New York, than NYT is good. But aren’t there a lot more interesting publications that talk about what’s happening in the city? More fun ones? NYT is great, but ya know … it’s kinda ultra establishment, no? Does it really tell you what’s going on in your community and provide story ideas?

      4. Sure, blog if you can. They tell the same thing to creative writers. The reason is: do. If you want to be a journalist, don’t be snobby, just do. Anywhere, for anyone who will let you. Paid or unpaid. Just get that clip file growing.

      5. Ignore people who are obsessing about the future of media. We’ve got a recession coming, the industry is in a crisis. Keep your eyes open. Watch for good opportunities. Stay up to date and be creative.

    • I once visited a technical writing class at a community college. The students were working with PageMaker. Those who spoke at all, all asked the same question in different ways. Generally, the questions ran this way: “I’m in this class because technical writers work mostly with computers, right? They don’t have to actually write very much — do they? I mean, I just HATE to write.”

      For writers, technology is great stuff and technology is crap. Technology gives us access to megatons of information instantly, on demand, whereas doing research in libraries used to take weeks or even years. Technology is crap when we use it to substitute form for content.

      Photographers make pictures with cameras. Illustrators make pictures with pencils and paints and software. Writers make pictures with words.

      I have undergraduate degrees in history and English. I have a graduate degree in journalism and worked as a technical writer and published several different newsletters. Today I’m retired. I blog and write essays for fun.

      Knowing what I’ve learned about the craft of writing — if I wanted to hire a writer — I would never hire anyone because he or she had a journalism degree or a history degree or an English degree or a degree of any kind. Instead I’d sit the applicant down in front of a computer, and then I’d tell them: “Write me an essay. Five paragraphs. Call it ‘Three Reasons I Like (or don’t like) Pizza.’ It doesn’t have to be factual. Feel free to make it up. Just write it as best you can. You will be hired (or not), depending upon how well you do what I’ve asked of you. Here’s a diskette. When you’ve done, save your work and bring me the diskette. You have one hour.”

      Any real writer could knock out an essay like that — letter perfect — in 45 minutes. Anyone who cannot do it is no writer.

      One learns to write by reading. If people are what they eat, writers are what they read. Want to be an essayist? Read Orwell, E.B. White, Annie Dillard, C.S. Lewis, etc. Want to be a novelist? Read Hemingway, Dickens, or some of the other greats. If you eat enough and pay attention to what you eat, by and by you become a gourmet. If you read enough and pay attention to what you read, by and by you learn how pictures are made with words. Then you are a writer, whether you have 50 degrees or none.

      All the technology in the world won’t help you. There is no other way.

    • Alana, thank you for writing this article. It points out two things that aren’t always obvious from within the ivory tower (that’s academia, in less obscure English): 1) the profs don’t necessarily understand, use, nor have experience creating new media and 2) the students don’t necessarily understand, use, nor have experience creating new media. A fine combination.

      The over-30/40/50 crowd has been told for years that “the next generation” (whoever they are) will show up immersed in, embracing and understanding “new media” (whatever that is). They’ll all be digital content creators — devourers of other’s digital content as well.

      The “next generation” has been told that a university experience is the best way to learn journalism, that professors will have the latest “research” (don’t get me started on that!) at their disposal and a magic mix of academic and professional experience.

      As you’ve discovered, neither group has a monopoly on knowledge, interest, or experience in digital media. Many people from both camps would arrive unarmed at a digital gunfight. And yes, that’s sad.

      The big J schools are still fine places to learn the biz (I’m a particular fan of Mizzou and have my eye on that “other” J-program in NYC), but I’ve found myself growing comfortable, teaching at a school with a somewhat different mix of talents and interests — and a more artistic student body. The performing arts are pervasive here (my best Web-coders are generally dance majors) and I think it adds an additional helping of free thought among both the profs and students — a very good thing in a digital world.

      Good luck with your studies. Take what you can from each professor. Learn what they know. Learn what they don’t know. There are many worse things in life than a degree from NYU.

    • Whoops. I forgot to mention (and I really should) that I don’t have all the answers, either.

      This is why we teach editing, right?

    • I don’t enjoy lugging the NYT around either at Kansas. Of course I don’t really like the NYT at all anyway. It seems so holier than thou.

      Seriously there are very few NYTs in the boxes at KU when I show up at 9am, but I think that the NYT’s ego leave room for only about 5 papers per box.

    • Colleen

      Quick, someone hire this girl while she knows everything!

    • Alana,

      I think you make some valid points here. I hope you’re bringing these thoughts to the attention of NYU faculty and administration, and not just posting here. If not, you should.

    • Afi Scruggs

      What does your professor think of this? Did you try to get her response to the issues you raise? as she read it?

      Including her thoughts – and your reactions to them – would have made this a much better piece.

      In fact, I’d love for Mark Glaser to solicit a column from the professor. I’m sure she’s read this numerous times by now, courtesy of email, twitter, facebook and all that other web 2.0 stuff.

    • Afi Scruggs

      Sorry for the typo in my first comment.

    • Alana: To a point, I appreciate your sentiments as a blogger, someone who has been victimized by out-of-touch journalism profs, and is a former ink-stained wretch.
      But don’t be so hard on The New York Times. You are among the first generation who may not have had a newspaper in the house on a regular basis. So, you turn to other platforms for your information. Which is fine.
      The problem is that too many people don’t. Or think that reading the headlines on the Yahoo home page gets them up to speed.
      At least you’re willing to look at Times content online. Which puts you ahead of many of your peers. The problem is, there is still no digital duplicate of the experience of holding a newspaper in your hand and reading it at your leisure.
      The Times has so much to offer a reader, and trying to duplicate that with a few mouseclicks is difficult at best. Will you read a 1,500-word feature on your IPhone? Didn’t think so.
      Would you even sit and read the whole thing — regardless of how well it is written — on your laptop. Possible but unlikely. You simply have too many things going on in your life.
      Having the newspaper in front of you gives you a better idea of what’s in there to intrigue, educate, amuse and anger you. Even with its recent changes, no paper does that better than the Times.
      Yeah, I may be one of those 47-year-old fogies who just likes things as they are. I know this is a very different media world than the one I entered after college.
      But what I do know is — at least for now — is that trusting someone will get most of their information digitally invariably means less will be read and less knowledge will be shared.
      So, for now, forgive Prof. Quigley her trespasses. You might find it a pain to schlep around, but having the print Times to read might be the best lesson that class will offer.

    • Paul

      Like Thom, I’ll stick with the NY Times. No one will pay you more than beer money to blog because no one cares that much about the fact that you found triathalon training goggles or that you think while you sit around in coffee shops. Better stay in school, learn to think critically, learn how to put things in their appropriate contexts and learn to write well by reading good writing.

    • Hi Afi,
      Alana will be following up this story with one from the professor’s viewpoint, and I have asked her to solicit more feedback from other professors, students and NYU administrators. I think this story can stand as her own viewpoint and experience, but it will require her to find out the other side of that as well.

      The overall goal of doing these “embed” reports is to have people within news organizations and learning institutions give their impression of what is going on there, and hopefully help these places along in making necessary changes to keep up with the shift in media. I’m not interested in complaints alone, if they are not followed up with solutions and ways of making change.

    • David Fluhrer

      Hi, Alana —
      I got my journalism degree at NYU 36 years ago and, like you, was extremely ambitious. With the combination of NYU classes, internships and my taking full advantage of what the school and the city had to offer, I had a well-paid reporting job at a major daily newspaper three months before graduation. Over the next three-and-a-half decades, I segued into a pretty successful career in PR and I can thank NYU for a lot of that success.

      Humility and curiosity are great qualities when you’re a student. Your post doesn’t seem to display much of either. I don’t know if it’s intentional, but you come across as thinking that you’re more important than the institution and teachers around you. You balk at reading a print copy of the New York Times, where (unlike the online edition) almost every turn of the page can enhance your education and enlighten you on subjects you never dreamed about. And you seem to think all bloggers are journalists. They are not because many of them aren’t subjected to journalistic standards. They don’t check facts and, frankly, a lot of them don’t write very well. Their posts are read with skepticism rather than trust.

      A good communicator has to be a well-rounded, well-educated, curious person regardless of the medium. People who think they already know it all at a young age will never get there. I should know. During my career, I’ve had to fire or otherwise reject too many people who had more hubris than real skills.

      I mean these comments in the best possible way and wish you every success in your career. Just keep in mind the importance of humility and curiosity. Otherwise, I fear you’re going to miss out on a lot of opportunities.

    • happy Missouri J-Schooler

      if you don’t like the curriculum at NYU, WHY ARE YOU GOING THERE??? a good reporter would have done research into programs at other universities.

    • “In all my time at NYU and Columbia, I’ve only read a paper New York Times twice (I read it several times a day online). Both times, NYU professors were ‘to blame.’ But I’m happy I had to, just those couple of times. It’s easy to forget how some people read the news.”

      The rest of my response, and more about the state of NYU’s journalism program, here:

      Hard Copies of Newspapers, and the State of Journalism at NYU
      http://editorialiste.blogspot.com/2008/09/hard-copies-of-newspapers-and-state-of.html

      Cheers,
      The Editorialiste.

    • Stacey

      I can’t help but wonder how NYU-your professors, your colleagues, are reacting to your piece…any animosity? Are you thinking about transferring to another school? Which school does satisfy what you’re looking for?

      I’m not being sarcastic here, I’m just concerned as to how you will be handling your dilemma, and what kind of hell you just put yourself by publishing this-something a few, brave journalists would do. Let me know, one j-school student to another!

      Stacey

    • jason

      http://www.journalism.cuny.edu/
      The be all and end all. You just need a undergrad degree, talent (which you obviously have) and a dream. The best in the business.

    • I suspect such discussions will be had with every generation as they move forward with new technology and believe their instructors “don’t get it.”

      I’m very involved with the online universe and applications such as Facebook and Twitter (www.twitter.com/aribadler). I also have a personal blog (www.aribadler.blogspot.com) but I try to keep the topics focused on messaging and communications.

      Nevertheless, what many students need to be taught is that the latest online tools for distributing their message are just that: tools. It doesn’t matter how fast you can deliver your story or how many people will try to read it. If it’s not a well-written piece that follows the tenets of solid journalistic reporting — no one will be back to read your second story.

      Too often I hear people talking about the latest delivery methods and how to learn how to use them better rather than focusing on how to make sure the message you are delivering is the best one possible.

      Having the ability to write something on a blog does not mean you have the ability to write.

    • Larry Gillick

      I hope Aron (Yo! Aron!) won’t mind my pointing out that if the folks in NYU’s J-School haven’t already noticed this post, there may be a bigger problem at hand.

      But of course, he’s right. (Rule 96: Always listen to Aron. He knows stuff. Years of lurking on the IRE and NICAR listservs has taught me that.)

    • I teach at a J-School, and I also get frustrated with old-school J-profs who diss blogging and social media. It’s just another info delivery mechanism, folks!

      I do not require my journalism students to show up in class with a newspaper in hand. I get the NYT delivered to my email box; why shouldn’t I let my students do the same?

      I do have all of my students blog. To quote Elisa Camahort, one of the founders of BlogHer: “Blogging is a gateway drug of technology.”

      Blogging is an easy way to introduce students to online writing, the power of linking, and the basics of html. And, in an era of constricting state budgets (hey, I teach at a state school), blogs are free!

      I teach one completely online intro news writing class where my students submit almost all of their assignments on their blogs. The only exceptions are longer final projects, which are emailed to me.

      Want to check out my journalism class blog? You can find it at http://jour61.wordpress.com

    • Like Cynthia above, I also teach a journalism class and make my students blog. In fact, their current blog post assignment is to react to Alana’s embed post. Our class blog is at http://wku232i.blogspot.com

    • Kathy Barnstorff

      Alana-
      Thanks for taking me back to my j-school days at Northwestern when professors concentrated on print writing and reporting and not on electronic media, which was my major. Like you I was frustrated by what I saw as a curriculum that declined to embrace technology and an attitude that print was the only “real” journalism!

      But when I got my first TV reporting job, I really appreciated the tools I had been taught because they can be used in all media, no matter what the technology delivery system.

      Hang in there. Be excited that you have already fulfilled one of the great roles of journalism with your post … provoking thought and comment.

      And try to enjoy the New York Times … as someone who lives in an area with a relatively small newspaper that does not always hire the most experienced reporters/writers … I love reading the Times (online usually). Its writers paint some of the best word pictures around.

    • Been there, done that: Was young and thought I knew it all, I knew better than the professor. I was convinced that what I was learning in class would be useless. Would never get me a job. No practical, real skills for the real world.

      Now I am the professor.

      Guess what: School, the best kind of school, doesn’t teach you skills. It teaches you how to think. I didn’t get that until much later, when I was out of school and got that job.

      School is like a gym for your brain. You lift weights at the gym, though you’ll never lift weights in real life. Why? To be strong.

      Your professor can teach you to press this and that button and use twitter. Yes, I do that in my classes, too…

      But guess what: by the time you graduate, the button would’ve moved somewhere else, by the time you’re 40, twitter will be history.

      So as a prof, I ask myself: What can I give you that can stay with you and be useful 10-20 years later?

      Whereas students think: What can I learn that will be useful to me next week?

      You admit your teacher is smart. You are disappointed because you expect her to teach you what you already know. You are so busy thinking that you know better than her that your mind won’t absorb anything else.

      Let that go, see if she can teach you something new after all. I bet she can.

      Students expect their teachers to know it all and feed it to them. But you learn more when you learn together, because that will teach you how to learn – one of those skills that will be useful when you’re 40.

      So the first-time, messy, disorganized, all over the place courses are actually the best – you get to see and experience the pains of learning, of creating new knowledge.

    • Brent

      I understand her complaint about bringing the paper to class.
      But she couldn’t do the slightest big of digging about the phenomena she hopes to understand here? Maybe cite a study or two?
      Yet she can easily dismiss the journalism dept for trying to focus the basics. She should reevaluate her commitment to journalism and its principles.

    • I understand the generation gap you are feeling. But your professor has a certain structure worked out in her mind on the right steps to become a journalist.

      I think if you are willing to learn the finer aspects of journalism in this class, it will definitely strengthen your foundation as a writer. By the time you graduate you will an advantage over the class on knowing both sides of media.

      Knowing and being involved in the new media doesn’t make you a better writer.

    • WhoDoWeThinkWeAre

      Anyone over the age of 32 is in total disarray over how to deal with blogs, micro-blogs, virtual worlds, video & image sharing, geo mapping, etc. Academics in particular are very slow to change, preferring to use a curriculum semester after semester. You obviously caught the NYU instructor with her pants down, as even though she may have discussed newer media tools such as blogs, in reality she is obviously not comfortable with them, and shows disdain.

      As for use of the NY Times, the company continues to hemorage red ink, indicating a shift in user preferences is going on. Yet looks like the instructor clings to the notion that the rag is the be all, end all for “all the news that’s fit to print.”

      I find many of the comments to this post to be elitist and by those that are scared by the new media tools. That being said, I do agree that it is important to also remain cognizant of what went on before you, as in life I have seen that the proverbial wheel is simply reinvented again and again, even if packaged under a different label. New technology may simply enable this reinvention in a different and perhaps faster manner.

      Oh, and the NYU instructor has now learned one more thing about new media, it really no longer works to try and stifle content, be it in classroom or whatever, as ultimately, what do they say, content is meant to be free.

    • Nora

      Alana,

      What on earth are you implying by these lines:

      “The first thing I notice when I walk into the class is that there are 14 girls and two boys. Already NYU is dominated by females, but the journalism department is exceptionally estrogen-infested. ”

      Estrogen-infested?

      Already dominated by females?

      With that sort of misogynist and condescending attitude toward other women, you have a long ways to go before you can be taken seriously as an intelligent thinker.

      And no amount of approval-craving reiteration about you working at Mashable will fix that.

      And remember, you may put down other women as much as you please. But in the real world, you too are and will be looked down upon by many people as just another annoying and stupid estrogen-infested female. And you will be treated with the same sexist disrespect and patronizing smugness you slap onto other women.

      No male colleague or boss is going to respect you more simply because you are a sexist like them.

    • mick

      Ugh, sorry I just graduated from NYU and you are an example of the worst kind of student I had to deal with in my journalism classes. You’re not a talented writer–maybe if you were focused on writing well, instead of writing Twitters and for multiple, banal blogs you could focus on this–and your idea that you no longer have to work your way up the ladder is insulting to this generation. True, there’s little or no ladder at all in blogging: if you want to make the same low income your entire life, then great! Or alternately, plan to be self-made–the next Perez Hilton, that bastion of journalistic integrity. Something to strive for!

      Blogging is not without merit, but your dismissal of the attempts to teach you real writing and reporting, instead of writing about other people’s reporting and writing, is laughable. Good thing you’re online–I work at a Conde Nast mag and your attitude would be laughed out the door here. I guess you should be thankful blogging is an option.

    • KB

      I graduated from NYU Journalism in 2000 and they are still teaching your class the exact same curriculum as I was taught. What a surprise and disappointment given the advancements in technology: blogging, social networking…etc. As well as the advances in journalism with the up-to-the minute news and overall connectivity to your exact needs as a consumer.

      NYU a great school, but it’s time for an update. Oh, and we too had to bring a hard-copy of the NY Times to class…but also the NY Daily News, why bother?

      thanks for your blog – much appreciated.

    • Steph

      I’m not much older than you, but I do have a journalism degree, and I think it’s pretty sad that you don’t value good writing and investigative journalism. You ought to change your major to PR or marketing, stat.

    • J Schooler

      I’m a current grad student at NYU and have taken Quigley in the past. I think the users commenting on here need to understand that the program is flawed. Whether we like it or not, journalism is changing, and NYU recognizes this, but they don’t know what to do. They are throwing things together, experimenting with “class blogs,” and having professors without new media experience emphasize the need to learn digital skills. All this is at our expense; we’re paying to be guinea pigs.

      I have a great deal of respect for the staff at NYU, and for journalism as it once was. But, the idea constantly reiterated here, by old-school journalists, mind you, is: “realistically, you need to learn new media.” On our own, I presume, since the program is not equipped for this type of instruction.

      Regarding the Times requirement, I see the value of reading in print and discussing layout, amongst other things, as a class. But you’d think one of the top journalism programs in the country would provide the city’s quintessential paper, instead of using our tuition money on faulty computers and printers that don’t print.

    • Ruth

      It’s hard not to sympathize for poor Mary Quiqley, limbs caught in the bear-trap that is Alana Taylor.

      But then my thoughts turn to petards and hoisting: the ultimate blame for this farrago will always recoil back to Quigley — presuming it was she who originated that ludicrous “Reporting Gen Y” concept in the first place.

      “Reporting Gen Y?” That’s a pretty massive honeypot for NYU’s young narcissists right there. What did she think would happen?

    • JE

      “In my experience, the Baby Boomers often think the Quarterlifers are anti-social because they socialize on Facebook and MySpace.”

      Um, no, we don’t think that makes you anti-social. We just think its incredibly sad that you think communicating with someone online, or through texting, or Twittering, or whatever is the same, or even better, than actually giving a person your undivided attention in a face to face encounter.

    • I totally agree with you about how online journalism is underappreciated by journalism teachers.
      I’ve done a major in journalism here in Portugal and I know that most of the classes I had wont help me in my job – too much sociology, history of journalism and so on.
      Now I’m applying to a master in New Media and Web Practices, because I want to do online journalism. This master is all about the web-design and writing for the web.
      I see that some people say in the comments “drop the journalism major”, but don’t do it. Instead you can do a master on online journalism, and then you have a perspective of both types of journalism – that way you have the best of both worlds.

    • Brian Childs

      As a recent graduate of NYU’s journalism school, I can vouch that they only have barely put there toes in the water when it comes to new media. That said, it seems that Alana here is publishing a lot of negative criticism of Prof. Quigley in a very public forum after having only attended the first day of class. There are a number of assumptions on her part of Prof. Quigley’s inability to teach anything valuable about New Media that flips the meaning of her last sentence in my mind, “I’m certainly going to gain some insight into what exactly they mean by generation gap.”

    • You make some valid points but I don’t think blogs will be a complete replacement for edited, or “juried” content, whether on-line or print. Any medium that is not edited by a second party is fundamentally vulnerable to all kinds of errors.

      Further, I wonder if the profs want you to bring the NYT because they can have everyone flip to a story to check it out. If you had to wait for everyone to search it up on-line, you’d lose valuable class time. There are some applications — reading in the bathtub, outlining material in a textbook, reading at the breakfast table, say — for which paper reading cannot easily be replacd.

    • Dana

      The key thing to remember is that NYU is supposedly giving these students the skills to get a job in the real world. But in the real world, paper newspapers are disappearing. And clearly, NYU is not keeping up with the times.

      I write for a top university — in their development department. And I have encountered numerous “former journalists” who once worked for major city newspapers — The Washington Post, The Dallas Morning News, The San Francisco Chronicle — who are now either back in school pursuing very different careers (such as the law) or are struggling to make ends meet as freelance writers because the print industry is in total turmoil.

      I think Alana’s criticisms are completely valid. Moreover, a program that puts all it’s eggs in one basket (namely, The New York Times) is narrow even by paper newspaper standards. And it’s absurd to require students to carry a copy around with them! I disagree that you can’t easily “flip to” an article using a computer/blackberry/ipod — all you need is to search the author and/or the title. Leave it up to the students to decide which works best for them — paper or web.

      Even better — use class to explore the differences of paper vs. web. The pros and cons. For example, I rarely read (past tense) the New York Times prior to having regular access to the online version. I found the dense print and dry presentation off-putting. But I regularly read (present tense) and seek my hard cultural news from the web version of the New York Times. I enjoy the more rich experience of the multi-media, interactive add-ons found online, and I like being able to read other readers’ responses immediately. Finally, I absolutely love that you can double click any word in a NYT article and get it’s definition! Beat that, paper version.

      I agree that Alana and her classmates need to learn about traditional journalism standards, ethics, and practices. But if it happens in the context of a dying industry, then it’s not very useful. Moreover — ethics, standards, and practices are struggling to keep up with this new age.

      The great thing about the web is that there is room for both traditional reporting and blogging. In fact, I would argue that more blog-driven outlets like Salon.com are raising the bar — demanding accountability from traditional forms of media that are dominated by corporate interests.

      NYU needs to open its horizons and embrace the times. Right now, it’s only doing its students a disservice by not equipping them with the tools and skills they will need to be effective, critical thinkers in this new age of digital media.

    • DANA

      Correction to my post:

      I regularly read and seek my hard AND cultural news from the online NYT. (I was missing a crucial “and”)

    • Most everyone seems to have overlooked the fact that Alana wrote a story on a PBS blog that generated over 70 comments over a two-week time span, and also generated additional media coverage (http://is.gd/2NSQ). This is more than I can say about the average story in the paper edition of the New York Times that her class is lugging around.

      Twitter is not the answer to everything, not all bloggers are journalists, and Facebook is not a profession. But with print media revenues dropping and not stopping anytime soon (http://is.gd/Ec0) I would be very proud to be a blogger or other new media specialist with a positive balance sheet. And I would not be impressed by a NYT business card.

      Cutting-edge social tools are not just about publishing proper. They connect people with people, authors with authors, girls with boys, and journalists with sources (perhaps Peter Shankman should guest lecture – http://helpareporter.com/).

      I know Alana because of new media. I heard about her through blogs, initially met her at a social-tech/media event no buttoned-up newspaper reporter would be caught dead at, and keep in touch with her through Twitter and other information sharing tools. I read her blog and Mashable articles via RSS feeds – to my phone. I have incorporated these tools into my everyday life – as a scientist. They are invaluable, maleable, and adaptable. They are here to stay.

      Frankly, I myself have been published in the New York Times (http://is.gd/uE4) among other “good places” – it was nice writing, and the topics were important. My scientific writing can be found in Science and Nature, the best of the best. I was writing book reviews in college. But all of that has done little for my personal brand, compared to being on Twitter (http://is.gd/2T5c) and writing for Mashable (http://is.gd/1W5D). And because of that personal brand, I am getting writing and speaking opportunities that I didn’t have before.

      At the end of the day, you have to be a good reader, researcher, writer, and editor to be a good journalist. Of that there is no doubt. But perhaps Alana has outsmarted everyone. You’re all talking about her. No one is talking about you.

    • Colin

      Those that dismiss Alana’s incite as being, arrogant or self assured are missing an excellent point because of their own refusal to listen to someone younger than themselves.

      Sometimes the teachers and the institutions are NOT correct, and challenging the status quo is a good thing. Beyond that, Alana has every write to challenge the education that SHE is financing.

      As a professor of Journalism I find myself teaching a course that speaks to Alana’s concerns this very semester. Our big topics of discussion revolve around the old guard media’s reluctance to change, and the traditional j school’s role in this line of thinking.

      By teaching our students that internships, working your way to the top, newspapers, print media, etc is the only way to be successful we are increasingly straight up lying to the future generation of journalists.

      For those of you that don’t believe blogging is a career, you too are in the dark and refuse to see the writing on the wall. Their are plenty of bloggers making a great deal of money selling ads and charging by the impression.

      It can be done, and it requires some business savy. It does NOT involve working your way to the top at a dying newspaper.

      So, for those of you who want to condemn Alana for being intelligent, curious, and courageous (for publishing this will surely generate some animosity within her school) go ahead. Keep reading the print version of the NYTimes with an air of superiority. Keep avoiding Facebook. And keep thinking of text messages as childs play. Enjoy your last few moments of relevance before you are left in the dark.

    • It is tough for universities to change their perspective and deal with a society that is following completely different rules from what they were taught.

      I teach an emerging media class for senior undergraduate communications students in Medellín, Colombia. I have a great respect for the university I´m working at, mostly because they have recognized that having a degree doesn’t make someone automatically an expert, particularly in this field. Although I´m a drama major, I make my living working from home writing for a blog that is based on a completely different continent. I blog, chat, share pictures, take videos, twit, compulsively refresh my RSS reader.

      I encourage students to blog and twitter in class, and I would only be too happy to see them writing critically about anything and everything, including myself and my class.

      I am not a communicator, I am not a journalist, but I DO work and play on the internet every day, and that is what I intend to share with my students. To love what will possibly allow them to earn a living in the future.

    • Tracey

      If this is what we can expect from Gen Y online journalists, I think I’ll lug the Sunday Times around.

    • Dudley

      Typical of the youth of today to disregard essential fundamentals in favor of emo based ‘journalism’. Perhaps Brown would have been a better choice.

    • I am equally surprised to hear that you were the only one in the class with a blog. Whenever I come across a business that is solely online or uses the internet as one of their mediums and does not have a blog, I question their business sense.

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    • Very interesting article. Couldn’t be written any better. Browsing this post reminds me of my old friend. He always kept speaking about this. I will send this post to him. Am sure he will have a good chuckle

    • Anthony Borelli

      I think the newspapers are dying, and some old journalists are confusing the medium of newspapers with journalism itself, and that’s what really distresses them. Of course, you have good and bad news sites, but that’s no different than the papers. The real differences is the exploding consumer chaoice the web provides, and the journalism opportunities for people whose voice might not have been heard in the old days. New sites like the Third Report (http://www.thirdreport.com) let citizen journalists voice their own opinons and even publish their own news. What’s wrong with that?

    • Really this post is pretty good to read!

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