Cornerstone Missing

With the needed documents at hand, I left Muntinlupa’s police station and went back home. With hours to go before the 3pm deadline, I still had time to eat lunch, like and comment on a few – or maybe a lot of – Facebook statuses, write the article, rewrite it, and rewrite it again. Repeat the same process, except for the eating part, for the second story.

All in a casual pace. No pressure.

This happened during my Journ 102 news reporting class. It was the day of our simulation as real-life journalists on the field, assigned to a city, and given a deadline to turn in two stories by 3pm. While this was a good training method, it happened only once during the duration of the course. I’ve  only done it once in my entire stay in UP as a journalism student.

This is probably the biggest difference the industry expects from us versus what we are trained to do. Journalists are expected to be strict about deadlines. The industry is strict about it, the University teaches it. But the University does not give it enough emphasis.

This Journ 117 class is so far my fourth journalism writing class after J101, 102, and 111. In those classes, our professors always gave us a minimum of one week to submit our works. It does not matter what kind  of story it was: police story, court story, feature story, profile, whatever. It was always a week. Sometimes, even more.

My guess is I’m not the only one to experience this. Which is why graduates go into the industry and experience a shock. They end up scrambling to beat deadlines, sacrificing quality along the way. Deadlines are taught but not emphasized.

Another ingredient missing in journalism training in school is the lack of online utilization. I read my Twitter news feed. Lots of my “followees” are news organizations (Rappler, Inquirer, ANC, GMA News, ABS-CBN News). Something in common: they tweet A LOT. This medium reaches many people at the same time.

The problem is that I have yet to encounter a class which teaches the right way (if there exists a ‘right’ way) to broadcast written articles on Twitter. Or how to effectively use social media for stories. While this is provided in Journ 117, which is online journalism, that is not enough. Now, online is the medium. Online skills must also be taught to J101 and J102 students. The basics would already be very helpful.

Besides these shortcomings in journalism training I see, everything else mentioned by Paul Bradshaw in his article exist in UP.

Problem is that those missing are some of the most important things in the industry today. And this generation of journalists-in-training can’t afford to miss these crucial elements. We live in the information age, where everything is quick. One missed move and you will be left behind.

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