Report: Journalists are educated for yesterday

My report on the future of journalism education looks at the current state of the Danish job market and how we educate journalists today.

I have analysed the demands made from editors and their need for new skills as well as talking to the three managers in the field of journalism education.

The academics and editors all agree that journalism programmes provide a foundation for good overall news journalism, but no more than that. Building on data and interviews, I suggest a new framework of five specialisations and make these recommendations:

1. Change the entry qualifications for journalism studies and consider alternative procedures like interviews, group assignments or portfolios, in order to diversify the student population.

2. Incorporate specialisations into the degree and make different pathways available after the first year. If the number of students is limited, consider whether other educational institutions can take the lead on a particular specialisation so that resources and teachers can be shared. Then let the different specialists work together on project-based exams.

3. Introduce journalism students to academic thinking and media critique during the first semester, and throw in theories on groupthink, too.

4. Set up projects with other students from other disciplines, such as IT and business schools, to emphasise teamwork. Teach all students design thinking and NABC as a way of creating a more user orientated mind-set.

5. Create an “innovation incubator” for current and newly graduated students, just like the Technical University of Denmark and the IT University of Copenhagen. Ensure collaboration with Innovation Fund Denmark and similar governmental agencies for funding and support.