Is Journalism Education Changing Fast Enough?

    by Eric Newton
    September 29, 2014
    Searchlights and Sunglasses covers journalism education through an experimental digital approach, including a learning layer of resources and activities.

    Last week at the Online News Association convention in Chicago, we did a “lighting round” on our update of Searchlights and Sunglasses, the free digital learning resource Knight Foundation offered up last year to journalism education.

    Did we just say the first edition launched last year? That seems like a lifetime ago — maybe because, in iPhone years, it is. If anything, the accelerating pace of change reinforces the Searchlights and Sunglasses message: We in journalism and journalism education still aren’t changing fast enough.

    The e-textbook used in J4462, Emerging Technologies at Missouri School of Journalism

    Searchlights and Sunglasses: Field Notes From the Digital Age of Journalism, by Eric Newton


    That said, we see hopeful signs of change – “green shoots,” we are calling them. They take the form of new classes, projects, tracks and degrees. Indicators of hope include the number of members in Online News Association’s educators group on Facebook, which has almost doubled to more than 700. Even better, some 125 journalism schools – roughly a quarter of all schools and programs in the U.S. — applied for the Challenge Fund for Innovation in Journalism Education.

    In the update we’ve added many new links and lessons, everything from Weird Al’s Word Crimes video to a better explanation of the “teaching hospital” form of journalism education. I won’t list them here because, frankly, I’d rather you to join the 20,000 people who have already taken a look at the resource.

    We’re also looking forward to an event at the end of October with our project partner, the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri, to celebrate Searchlights and Sunglasses 2.0 and hear from folks bringing new ideas to journalism education.


    One of the best changes we made to 2.0 was to emphasize the #EdShift Twitter hashtag, which includes your comments and tracks the activities here at EducationShift. So if we didn’t see you at the Online News Association conference, we hope we’ll see your comments here and on the #EdShift feed.

    This post first appeared on the Knight Blog, a product of the Knight Foundation.

    Eric Newton joined Knight Foundation in 2001. He is senior adviser to the president. In the journalism program at Knight he helped develop more than $300 million in grants. Previously, Newton was founding managing editor of the Newseum, leading the content team at the world’s first museum of news. He started at California newspapers. As city editor, assistant managing editor and managing editor of the Oakland Tribune under Bob and Nancy Maynard, he helped the paper win more than 150 awards, including a Pulitzer Prize. Follow him on Twitter @EricNewton1.

    Tagged: digital eric newton knight foundation searchlights and sunglasses technology

    Comments are closed.

  • About EducationShift

    EducationShift aims to move journalism education forward with coverage of innovation in the classroom as journalism and communications schools around the globe are coping with massive technological change. The project includes a website, bi-weekly Twitter chats at #EdShift, mixers and workshops, and webinars for educators.
    Amanda Bright: Education Curator
    Mark Glaser: Executive Editor
    Design: Vega Project

    MediaShift received a grant from the Knight Foundation to revamp its EducationShift section to focus on change in journalism education.
  • Who We Are

    MediaShift is the premier destination for insight and analysis at the intersection of media and technology. The MediaShift network includes MediaShift, EducationShift, MetricShift and Idea Lab, as well as workshops and weekend hackathons, email newsletters, a weekly podcast and a series of DigitalEd online trainings.

    About MediaShift »
    Contact us »
    Sponsor MediaShift »
    MediaShift Newsletters »

    Follow us on Social Media