What to expect of j-students: specialist or generalist?

Multimedia journalism education is being implemented at different colleges and universities in different ways; this is no surprise given the fact this is a new area for both the industry and the academia. We cannot have a clear idea how to incorporate multimedia journalism into existing journalism education until this practice further establishes itself in the industry.

That said, a basic question needs to be pondered: do we want our students to be a story specialist and multimedia generalist, or a story generalist and multimedia specialist? Ideally, we want the students to be a specialist in both areas; but that’s not always possible in the curriculum planning.

I tend to believe that a journalism student needs to be a story specialist and a multimedia generalist. The students need, first and foremost, to be well-trained in both print and broadcast journalism; then they take a cluster of multimedia journalism courses.

Whatever the way multimedia journalism is incorporated into the curriculum, this training needs to achieve three basic goals: (a) cultivate a multimedia journalism mindset for the students, (b) expose them to the current practices and examples, and (c) teach them how to use some basic tools.

About Mu Lin

Dr. Mu Lin is a digital journalism professional and educator in New Jersey, United States. Dr. Lin manages an online marketing company. He also manages MulinBlog Online J-School (www.mulinblog.com/mooc), a free online journalism training program, which offers courses such as Audio Slideshow Storytelling; Introduction to Social Media Marketing; Writing for the Web; Google Mapping for Communicators; Introduction to Data Visualization; Introduction to Web Metrics and Google Analytics.
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