Monday, August 15, 2005

Profession or Skilled Labor, Redux

I was reading an article about a conference of journalism professors, and one panel was called "Things I Used To Teach That I No Longer Believe." It was an extremely well-written piece, one I recommend to anyone who has an interest in mainstream journalism. For those of us who believe that much of the press is liberal and slants news accordingly, there are some interesting observations in the article from some insiders.

One comment struck me as relating as much to teaching as it does to journalism--is teaching (or journalism) a profession or are the practitioners merely skilled laborers? Here's what one j-school professor had to say on the topic:

I used to teach it implicitly: journalism is a profession. Now I think it’s a practice, in which pros and amateurs both participate. There were good things about the professional model, and we should retain them. But it’s the strength of the social practice that counts, not the health of any so-called profession. That is what J-schools should teach and stand for, I believe. I don’t care if they’re called professional schools. They should equip the American people to practice journalism by teaching the students who show up, and others out there who may want help.

Relating strictly to education and not journalism, what are the implications of such a view?

1 comment:

Phyllis S said...

I'm thinking--I'll get back to you.