Accrediting Council fails commentary.* Ignoring journalism practitioners is hard to justify,
As far as higher education higher education
Study beyond the level of secondary education. Institutions of higher education include not only colleges and universities but also professional schools in such fields as law, theology, medicine, business, music, and art. is concerned, editorial writing isn't as secure as it should be. Courses teaching the principles and purposes of journalism commentary are conspicuous by their scarcity at this country's universities and colleges.
During two terms on the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications - 1995-1997 representing NCEW NCEW National Conference of Editorial Writers , during the mid-'80s representing the Society of Professional Journalists
The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ, formerly known as Sigma Delta Chi - I was constantly astonished a·ston·ish
tr.v. as·ton·ished, as·ton·ish·ing, as·ton·ish·es
To fill with sudden wonder or amazement. See Synonyms at surprise. : Few university and college communication departments and schools seeking accreditation or reaccreditation re·ac·cred·i·ta·tion
1. The process of reviewing the accreditation of an institution.
2. Renewal of accreditation status. list courses related to journalism's opinion or commentary function.
Although I regularly reflected this dismay during council deliberations, I'm afraid the impact was largely negligible.
Some explanation about the Council may be helpful. Established 52 years ago to solemnize sol·em·nize
tr.v. sol·em·nized, sol·em·niz·ing, sol·em·niz·es
1. To celebrate or observe with dignity and gravity. See Synonyms at observe.
2. To perform with formal ceremony.
3. journalism's place in higher education, the Council as it evolved is influenced mostly by educators, but includes voting members from what's known as "the industry" - various print, broadcast, photo, and television news organizations, public relations public relations, activities and policies used to create public interest in a person, idea, product, institution, or business establishment. By its nature, public relations is devoted to serving particular interests by presenting them to the public in the most and advertising groups, those communication fields looking to colleges and universities for trained (or at least reasonably well-instructed) employees.
Having successfully survived various challenges to its validity and usefulness, the Council is generally recognized in higher learning higher learning
Education or academic accomplishment at the college or university level. circles as the body attesting to quality journalism or communication education. The accreditation that reflects this benefaction ben·e·fac·tion
1. The act of conferring aid of some sort.
2. A charitable gift or deed.
[Late Latin benefacti means the school or department substantially complies with the Council's 12 formal measurement standards.
Since, after all, accreditation is the template with which aspiring higher-ed communication faculty would develop teaching sequences, a scarcity of editorial or commentary courses among accredited accredited
recognition by an appropriate authority that the performance of a particular institution has satisfied a prestated set of criteria.
cattle herds which have achieved a low level of reactors to, e.g. schools and departments tends to assure propagation of that bleak situation. More's the pity.
If it is conceded that the country's journalism must look to college and university education for its practitioners, and if it is further agreed that analysis, opinion, and commentary comprise an essential ingredient of American journalism, then failure to even offer college- and university-level courses conveying knowledge about history, principles, and methodology of editorializing becomes difficult to justify.
The lack is far from total. Many university-level schools and departments of communications or journalism do list what would qualify as editorial writing classes.
Oddly, however, too many accredited schools and departments offer what is known as a "news/editorial" sequence that actually offers little that could be identified as editorial instruction. That may help explain why widespread confusion exists even among practicing communicators as to what distinguishes news work from editorializing.
On the other hand, should that part of the latest news-reporting fad - "community journalism," which aspires to convey greater "meaning" - become permanently rooted, a student's understanding of the editorial function would be even more essential; one might even argue it should be a required rather than an elective course Noun 1. elective course - a course that the student can select from among alternatives
course, course of instruction, course of study, class - education imparted in a series of lessons or meetings; "he took a course in basket weaving"; "flirting is .
Perhaps, in any event, editorial writers are actually born, not made. It does seem, when surveyed on the subject, many finding commentary work a compatible career tend to consider themselves called rather than selected. Under such circumstances, on-the-job training may be more valuable than academic preparation and so, therefore, the practical necessity of staffing and equipping higher education editorial writing courses is not compelling.
Whether journalism students in an editorial writing class become editorial writers is unimportant. What's important is that they know more than non-journalists about the editorial function - how and why it is performed. For those who do gain the opportunity to produce commentary, a basic classroom introduction stands to be a long-run benefit for them and their employers.
Also, since communication schools and departments frequently find their presence on a college or university campus questioned because they are considered more vocational than academic, a course emphasizing research, theory, and careful knowledge-gathering, all of which commentary writing at the undergraduate level surely must cover, could help in marshaling a better self-defense.
Accreditation, in any event, is not the pipeline for more college-level editorial instruction. Socializing coincident co·in·ci·dent
1. Occupying the same area in space or happening at the same time: a series of coincident events. See Synonyms at contemporary.
2. with council member gatherings may permit direct contact with higher education administrators, but progress made that way is vulnerable to counter-politics and quite perishable per·ish·a·ble
Subject to decay, spoilage, or destruction.
Something, especially foodstuff, subject to decay or spoilage. Often used in the plural. . While as a package the Council's 12 standards promote decent advanced instruction in communication or journalism skills, no single standard establishes what courses must be offered or taught. That's appropriate, since a course-content requirement could b