School budget cuts are curbing journalism interest in high schools across the nation, an unfortunate development, observed Grumpy Editor, who, incidentally, developed early interest in the field as an assistant editor on a Los Angeles high school newspaper.
Chicago Tribune writer Vikki Ortiz Healy on Thursday noted many high school journalism programs in Illinois and the U.S. “are struggling to stay afloat.”
She added, “In an era of tight school budgets, high-stakes testing and changing news consumption habits, the once time-honored tradition of offering students the chance to be newspaper reporters has joined the list of school activities becoming obsolete for today's students.
"Yet with public school funding shortfalls --- and school days often structured to focus on subjects covered on standardized tests --- school administrators say they are forced to make tough decisions, and journalism programs are another casualty of tight economic times."
That’s why there is a growing trend of college graduates with degrees in political science, history and law, as examples, entering print and broadcast news. For those, basic training in journalism is lacking.
A veteran journalist said that’s like having a physician, holding a geography degree, for example, diagnose an ailment.
But there’s hope.
WNEP-TV, Scranton, Pa., reported Friday that about 200 high school students in the area attended the 15th Tom Bigler Journalism Conference at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre. (Bigler, a former TV newsman, became a professor at the university.)
With input from those working in the field, the aspiring journalists attended workshops, lectures and seminars on the changing face of journalism, with a focus on globalism and international communities.
FYI, IN CASE YOUR FAVORITE EDITORS MISSED THESE…
President Barack Obama said it again last week: Climate change is a primary national threat…Allied with that, a two-page global warming story, “ A Glimpse at 2115,” in The Sunday, a Greenspun Media Group weekly publication, contained the word “could” 35 times, as with “maple trees could disappear” and “changes in wet and dry periods could increase flooding and fires” a century from now…Another word that brought reaction --- treason. Maj. Gen. James Post III, who was Air Combat Command vice commander, used that word in a bid to block retirement of the low-flying A-10 Warthog aircraft, highly regarded by ground troops in providing close air support. Result: Post was reprimanded and removed from his job…Said Republican presidential hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz in a CNBC interview: "Historically the media's had two caricatures for Republicans --- that we are either stupid or evil. They’ve to some extent invented a third caricature for me, which is crazy. I get portrayed in a lot of outlets as a wild-eyed lunatic with dynamite around my chest”…CBS radio news on Wednesday was overly excited, trumpeting four words heralding the lead item on the trial of Boston marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev: “The verdict is in.” But the 2 p.m. (Eastern) top-of-the-hour news had no decision to announce on the newscast. Nevertheless, the segment ended repeating “The verdict is in.” Stay tuned…In the wake of some faulty reporting in Rolling Stone, Mike Smith, whose editorial cartoons are distributed nationally, developed one depicting an editor addressing three staffers with: “We’ve decided to add some new elements to our reporting…they’re called facts”…In connection with U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter ‘s visit to South Korea last week to discuss North Korea’s growing missile and nuclear threat, North Korea, flexing its muscles in a "greeting," fired six short-range missiles.
Some baseball humor from New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez :
Sidelined via a year-long drug suspension, the veteran player hit his first home run in nearly 19 months and commented, “I felt like I needed a Google map to run the bases, it’s been so long.”