When the newspaper industry is crumbling along with the American economy in general, the smartest people in all of journalism are the Northwestern J-school professors who packed up and decamped for Qatar. They left dreary Evanston, Illinois for beachfront condos in an oil-flush Middle Eastern paradise. There, they have only 39 students in total. And they don't talk back, because no one in the country really knows what journalism is all about:

Abdulla bin Ali al-Thani, vice president of education at the Qatar Foundation, seemed unsure whether Qatar was ready to tolerate all aspects of U.S. journalism, complete with criticisms of the government and investigations. "How far that can go, I don't know," he said. "If you just come and criticize a society that is not used to that kind of criticisms, it's going to be a worry. But if you do it in a responsible way then it's going to be fine." But Medill says it has received assurances its freedoms will be guaranteed.

Either way it puts the teachers 7,000 miles away from Medill students, so it's worth it. [Chicago Trib]