Three years ahead of schedule, Columbia J-School has met its goal of raising $100 million, thanks in part to a $20 million donation from John Kluge, a rich man who values Ivy League schools over starving children in Africa. The school plans to increase scholarships, start an "academic center focused on the coverage of race and ethnicity," and also get started on the big "Center for Internet Journalism," which will finally teach young people how to write things online. A worthy use of $100 million if there ever was one. Nick Lemann can afford to buy enough paper for his long memos, with enough cash left over to Make it Rain on Them Hoes, if he so chooses. Meanwhile, less upscale schools are forced to do things like this to raise money: The alumni office at Framingham State University recently sent out a fundraising letter that attempted to be cool and appeal to "Generation X" by using the word "blah" 137 times.
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:
Above, Jay Rosen, former NYU journalism department chair and current faculty member, leaves a mean comment on some story at the Columbia Journalism Review. Hah. Very professional, Jay. Let the J-School War Commence! Our money's on Jay and his merry band of new-media rebels. Those CJR kids are too earnest and "concerned." Click to see the comment! [CJR, hat tip Hunter]
As if paying out the snout for a graduate degree to help you land a low-paying job in the highly unstable field of journalism wasn't hard enough. Now, Inside Higher Ed reports, J-schools are adding "new media" concentrations and programs to their repertoire. That's right: THEY'LL TEACH YOU HOW TO BLOG.
Journalism students in Reno, Nevada (they have schools there?) are all going to sign a symbolic ethics pledge tomorrow, thus guaranteeing forever the survival and viability of journalism in America. The story is kind of too sad to even make fun of. Except not really! They're having a reception in the atrium of the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada and all the seniors will solemnly promise to not make stuff up. If they ever get jobs. That's what's been wrong this whole time! We forgot to make all the reporters put their hands on bibles before filing stories!
Roger Ailes, who invented and perfected post-modern mass propagandizing through his work with noted hero of the free press Richard Nixon, and who then went on to invent Fox News, a creation of pure anti-journalism, will infect untold future generations of television producers with his grossly distorted view of the gullibility of the American sucker-electorate. 'Cuz Ohio University just unveiled the The Roger E. Ailes Newsroom at their Radio-Television Communication Building, made possible by a "generous contribution" from you-know-who. The video of school officials feting Ailes and his money mentions his work "media consulting for presidents" but oddly won't name which ones. This after a couple minutes spent reminding us that Ailes was once a prop wrangler for Mike Douglas. But no Willie Horton! Anyway, Ailes' gross Penguin-esque mug is now enshrined forever on a hideous plaque in Athens, Ohio. [TVNewser]
From the mailbag: "You may or may not care to know that [New York Times reporter] David Carr was the guest speaker at NYU's J-school orientation today. He was charming in an old-guy-who-references-Clap-Your-Hands-Say-Yeah sort of way and delivered an optimistic spiel about sticking it to the old guard and shaping the future of media. Needless to say, the kids ate it up. As for me, I began to rethink grad school entirely. I thought I was here so that I could eventually get paid a ridiculous sum to write mindless blurbs for Conde Nast mags. Everyone else was so damn earnest. What the hell? For a moment I wondered if maybe my priorities weren't in order, but then I squashed it and started to think about which one of my classmates I'm going to sleep with this semester." Maybe the kids are alright!