Thoughtful words from Jon Udell, writing about the blurring of the distinction between radio, television and newspapers as they converge in the mediascape:

Yes, the methods of content delivery are merging into a single
stream. But more profoundly for people working in the various media
professions, three formerly distinct skill sets are coming together.
It’s true that radio and TV people have always had to be competent
writers, but print folk have not traditionally had to be competent
editors of audio and video, or competent performers.

Becoming those things in mid-career is a challenge, as I can attest.
For me it’s been an enjoyable challenge, but for some — perhaps many
— it won’t be. What about the up-and-coming generation of journalists?
They’re surely more trilingual than their teachers but, from from what
I hear, most college curricula in these fields remain pretty much
siloed. If that’s true, it’s not good news.

I can’t dispute the basics of what Jon writes, but I can quibble. My experience with journalism students is that they are well versed in IMing, text messaging and using the internet, but only a handful of students in each new intake class is “trilingual.” More disturbing, to me, is that at least half the students in each of the recent classes have actually been resistant to ideas for new ways of doing journalism.

In my experience, as much as the journalism school I teach at is siloed and as conservative as most newsrooms, the students are siloed. They’re still caught up in old media models, too.

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