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An Education for Independence: Should entrepreneurial skills be an essential part of the journalist's toolbox?

Lookup NU author(s): Dr David Baines



News industry employers want recruits to meet their stated needs for an ever-expanding range of skills, and their wishes largely determine the form of journalism education. But traditional news work and career paths appear to be dissolving. Boundaries between work in journalism, PR and information brokerage are porous. Careers on which journalism graduates are embarking, like those of many journalists today, are increasingly likely to feature consecutive and concurrent periods of long-term employment, short-term contracts, self-employment, working in temporary clusters on specific projects*and perhaps outside media, news and communication altogether. In the light of these changes, this paper argues that educators should look beyond the demands of traditional employers of journalists and strive to give students the opportunity to become entrepreneurial self-employed agents, who might compete with, as well as serve, other media organisations. The argument here is that students need to gain skills and knowledge to act as reliable analysts and brokers of information in ever-more complex social and political contexts, and, in doing so, develop creative, innovative, experimental and entrepreneurial approaches to journalism. The paper concludes by highlighting several strategies to encompass these objectives within a coherent curriculum, but does not claim that these suggested solutions are exhaustive.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Baines D, Kennedy C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journalism Practice

Year: 2010

Volume: 4

Issue: 1

Pages: 97-113

Print publication date: 01/02/2010

Date deposited: 18/10/2010

ISSN (print): 1751-2786

ISSN (electronic): 1751-2794

Publisher: Routledge: Taylor and Francis


DOI: 10.1080/17512780903391912


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