Missouri Professor Charles Warner has does yeoman’s work blogging about the Missouri School of Journalism’s 2005 Summer Conference. I followed the proceedings because 1) the topic, the “decline of media and journalism credibility,” sounded interesting, and 2) as a Missouri J-School alumnus, I like to keep tabs on where my annual donations are going.
I won’t waste precious bytes recounting the conference; Professor Warner took care of that admirably. But I will say Professor Warner’s last post on the conference gave me pause and made me more than a little disappointed in a school that is supposed to be the world’s best.
Professor Warner wrote: “Several weeks ago, in preparation for the conference, I suggested that we allow students to blog about the conference and have a bulletin board on the Web set up so that they could all post their blogs as the conference proceeded. The powers that be turned it down. During the two days of listening to the conference, blogs were mentioned minimally. It is clear that the faculty at the J School neither understands what blogs are nor what impact they have had or will have on journalism. It was also clear that the journalism academics are mired on issues in the past, the recent past to be sure, but the students are much more up to date on the rapidly changing world of journalism and technology than the faculty is.”
Today and tomorrow’s journalists need leadership — and they need their leaders to listen. If the leaders at schools like Missouri can’t or won’t open their eyes and ears, then we are in more trouble than I thought.