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 "I can't believe people actually go to [j-school]"

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EricaCNPA

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Number of posts : 142
Age : 36
Registration date : 2007-06-13

PostSubject: "I can't believe people actually go to [j-school]"   Thu Nov 29, 2007 5:44 pm

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You wrote a column in the New York Press a few years back referring to journalism as “shoveling coal for Satan.” I believe you also said that journalism as a career was worse than being a worker in a tampon factory. Should any sane young person consider a career in journalism?

If you have no real knowledge or skill set and you’re lazy and full of shit but you want to make a decent wage, then journalism’s not a bad career option. The great thing about it is that you don’t need to know anything. I mean this whole notion of journalism school—I can’t believe people actually go to journalism school. You can learn the entire thing in like three days. My advice is instead of going to journalism school, go to school for something concrete like medicine or some kind of science or something and then use the knowledge you get in that field as a wedge to get yourself into journalism.

What journalism really needs is more people who are reporting who actually know something. Instead of having a bunch of liberal arts grads who’ve read Siddhartha 50 times writing about health care, it would be really nice if some of the people who are writing about health care were doctors.

Read the whole story

The above quote is from a recent Q&A with Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone and author of Smells Like Dead Elephants: Dispatches from a Rotting Empire. Taibbi clearly feels a need for political journalism, though his tactics in that field are not the most widely used, but doesn't believe in journalism school.

Is he right? Should journalists primarily study their beat in college, or the discipline of journalism itself?

At the local university, CSUS, journalism students are required to study a minor, usually one related to their hopeful beat topic, if the professors have anything to say about it. How did your university handle it? Do you agree with Taibbi?
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