Q: Do schools help make better journos? A: Yes

1 April 2009

The newly launched magazine Careers360 has an interview with Professor Sreenath Sreenivasan, dean of student affairs, and professor, Columbia Journalism School:

You were an established journalist when you had applied to Columbia. Do schools help in becoming better journalists?

“I had 300 bylines when I had applied to Columbia University. Learning on-the-job is crucial, but journalism schools add value where a newsroom cannot. In a newsroom, editorial is the number one product. All that you, as a journalist, are told is “don’t make mistakes”, “don’t get sued”, and “don’t get the advertisers angry”. The focus is entirely on the product and not on you. And given the pressure of deadlines, even if you are determined to do better, there’s no time or the energy left to do so.

“What a journalism school does is focus on how to make you a betetr product. Capitalist newsrooms do not allow for such conversations. We, at Columbia, make every comma, every turn of phrase, every video better. The game is how to take your career to the next level.”

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