damien Registered User

An open letter to Journalism School Graduates

Quite interesting.


Interesting indeed.

Is there anyone here who has studied journalism in Ireland to put this in an Irish context? (I'm under the impression that most journalists here would not have actually studied journalism).

flogen Moderator

Interesting indeed.
From my own experience of Irish... j-school (sorry, couldn't resist) it's a pretty different situation. My lecturers showed gave the media little praise, in fact they criticised it a lot.
Also there was very little networking bullshít, just learn whats being though and do your best to put that into practice. That may be different in one of the big colleges though.
It's a very cynical piece, but at the same time when you go into journalism you have to be ready to fall on your face.
I also don't understand how being competitive is all bad. In this country you compete you get known and you get known by making good quality stories, usually something that you've uncovered. Maybe it's different in America. Oh and yes, you are thought to be suspicious of everything but I think that's a life lesson, don't take anything at face value, always look into something before you swallow it.

Eve e Registered User

I am a journalist and can honestly say the maxim its not what you know but who you know was made for media.

My favourite quote about the job comes from F.Scott Fitzgerald:

Journalism a craft mastered in four days and abandoned at the first chance of a better job.

BTW Simu you are correct.

flogen Moderator

true eve, probably more true in Ireland due to the small scale of media in the country. Very annoying to see editors idiot daughters write for what could be decent newspapers

mycroft Banned

true eve, probably more true in Ireland due to the small scale of media in the country. Very annoying to see editors idiot daughters write for what could be decent newspapers

I recently ended up working in a busy tv news room (not as a journalist) I've signed a NDA so lets just say it rhymes with Pie. Most of the senior producers don't come from a J school background they studied stuff like politics in college, and got in that way, and again I got involved in this newsroom in a who you know capacity, TV news like print requires you to hit the ground running and be able to cope in stressful environment from the get go, which is why the personal introduction, I'd never worked in news or live tv for that matter, and I started the week a certain important polish bloke died, so the senior director needed to know someone who came in was capable, which is why a recommendation from a personal aquantiance is valuable.

flogen Moderator

Fair point, mycroft.
However the example I hinted at is a Sunday newspaper, and so something that isn't as focused on speed and ability to cope under pressure and more focused on style, quality and ability in general (at least in some of the content). I'm sure plenty of people know what paper I'm hinting at.
One problem with "who you know" placements is that there may be 100 more suitable people out there whom are overlooked. Sometimes the person recommended is capable but sometimes they are not. The people without friends and family in useful places are forced to trudge through crap for God-knows how long until they finally get their chance while others can skip the queue because of biology.

saharzie Registered User

Ireland is a nepotistic little country and no where is that truer in the media. Just look at the Independent Group. The overall standard of their product is woeful (just count the grammar/typos in any issue) and a lot of that is down to the poor quality of journalists on staff. I know of one case where a writer was let go because the feature editors son was getting the job.
Just look at the appaling standard of the Sunday Indo with z-list, orange faced nobodies writing 'opinion pieces' about anything and everything.

Seion Registered User

Just look at the appaling standard of the Sunday Indo with z-list, orange faced nobodies writing 'opinion pieces' about anything and everything.

I agree with you totally . . . but then it's still the biggest selling paper in the country. The people get what the people want - unfortunately what they get in this case doesn't say much for the people.

I work as a journalist (note the distinction between this statement and 'I am a journalist' – to me it's just a job like any other and I don’t define myself by it in the way my journalists seem to) and it's not a meritocracy out there by any means. I have benefited and lost out in the past from personal associations and lack thereof, but at the end of the day, very little in life is fair in any field of endeavour.

I read the link in the first post with interest and agree with a lot the writer had to say. I went to journalism school, but I had already been working in the media and simply decided a qualification wouldn't hurt. As a result, I was able to discern a little more the value of what was offered, and it was mostly very good. The lecturer happened to be a working journalist who was more interested in communicating practical skills then giving people the expectation that Prime Time was waiting for their call.

The media in Ireland can be enormously self obsessed and many of the better known 'J-school' courses in Ireland turn out people who have somehow been given the idea that journalism is an art when actually for the vast majority of working journos it's a trade like brick laying or plastering. The application of formulaic skills to a repeating task.

The course I did was excellent, and I can say that because a large number of the students are today, seven years later, earning a living from working on national newspapers. If I recall correctly, there were 15 of us that finished the course, and at least ten of us work in the field today. That's a great employment rate, and the reason it exists is because of the teacher who taught us.

He has since quit teaching, as it was a nixer for him in addition to his day job - and the moral of the story is that journalism tuition in my view is only as valuable as the experience of the person teaching it and the agenda they bring to the table.

damien Registered User

Jarvis weighs in on this and states that the public needs to change too.

trekkypj Registered User

Hmmm that's a very interesting article. Agree with pretty much all that it says.

Sent a link by e-mail to the head of media studies in NUI Maynooth, my department...

belinda502 Registered User

Could anyone recommend what is regarded as the best place to study journalism in this country?

Loafing Oaf Registered User

Sorry dunno how to post pictures

belinda502 Registered User

Thanks - opened your link and got a virus - really kind of you.

flogen Moderator

Why is an 8 year old thread being dragged up?


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