The End of Journalism?

July 12th, 2009

While I have been attending to my own concerns City University has appointed a new head of journalism, George Brock, currently the international editor of The Times of London. Since I have been temporarily out of touch with City, I have no idea why they chose him.

But now I have checked him out, I can report, that had I been on the selection committee, I might have shouted for him.

Because of a long article he wrote, not for The Times, but for The Times Literary Supplement. (Yes, folks, it’s still going!)

It was entitled, ‘The end of journalism?’. The question mark is mine, but I feel it was implicit in Brock’s article.

He is asking the right questions.

But he has taken on the responsibility of managing City University Journalism, now by far the biggest journalism department in UK and recruiting hundreds of students into our trade.

Journalism recruitment is booming. Up over a third on last year. But journalism jobs are being slashed. And even Rupert Murdoch is worried that the economic model which sustains print journalism is bankrupt.

This year’s graduates will be competing for fewer and fewer jobs. Next year the problems will be worse. Since many talented undergraduates who would have got journalism jobs are instead opting for doing journalism courses.

City University Journalism, nor any journalism training outfit, cannot solve these problems. But they can do something.

They can address the problems of why the public does not trust journalists.

What is it about the pracice of journalism currently that has caused this growth of distrust?

Let’s hope Brock will find time to pursue the ideas in his article. As well as helping the 400 journalism students in his charge, who be expecting that the money they will be paying to City U will bring them JOBS when they graduate.

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