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Journalism and Business — not always strange bedfellows

There’s an interesting piece today in Inside Higher Education that discusses Columbia Journalism School and its mandate to educate journalists to handle the tumultuous shifts happening in media today (both consumption patterns and business models). Among the changes proposed by Bill Grueskin, the former deputy managing editor for news at The Wall Street Journal and the school’s new dean of academic affairs, is a course on the business of journalism:

Though he acknowledged that the course would bridge the longstanding gap between the business and editorial sides of the journalism world, he did not think this would present an ethical problem for students. If anything, he said, it might help them in a market where some journalists have had to become entrepreneurs to find an audience for their work online.

“Most journalism schools have a historical aversion to teaching the business of journalism,” Grueskin said. “It, however, is incumbent upon us to show our students the [changing business] model. We’re not blurring the lines between business and editorial. The truth is, business considerations have always enabled or disabled journalism — more the latter than the former as of late. We’re not trying to graduate people to work in ad departments but those who can talk to those in the ad department.”

At FM, especialy in the author services department, this is a topic we deal with every day, and it’s fascinating to see my alma mater deem it worthy of study. I wholeheartedly agree.

P.S. I would love to be an adjunct professor for such a course.