The editors respond: It was the latter, with several overworked copy readers also in agreement.
Re: “A Faustian Bargain: Slideshows are the scourge, and the savior, of online journalism” by Chadwick Matlin (CJR, November/December). Newspapers and magazines, which produce most of the content that is aggregated into slideshows by all of these websites, are laying off photojournalists at higher rates than writers at the same time as they are looking for more visuals. Sure, photo galleries are looked down upon, especially by executives without a visual bone in their bodies and writers who just don’t get that we live in the most visually literate society in the history of the world. The bottom line: people like photos. Instead of looking for ways to devalue this trend, we as an industry should be hiring more visual people—photographers, artists, photo editors, etc.—and putting them in management positions to help the industry improve its quality and visual content.
Move Over, J-School
Curtis Brainard accurately portrays the potential dark side of the discontinuance of the University of Colorado (CU) School of Journalism and Mass Communication (SJMC) in his article “Drop Out?” (CJR, November/December). However, as one who has attended all the public meetings, knows the key participants, and sits on the SJMC Advisory Board, I find this doomsday scenario to be unlikely.
Whatever happens, journalism will continue to be a vibrant program at CU. At the very least, a diminished but revitalized journalism program will be included in CU’s College of Arts and Sciences. The top recommendation of the Discontinuance Committee was for a brand-new interdisciplinary academic unit that “centers on teaching the core principles of journalism.” So, I believe it is most likely that CU will authorize the formation of a new unit, such as a College of Digital Media, to teach journalism along with information, technology, and entrepreneurship.
A lively debate is already occurring within the university community on how best to reconstruct journalism education in the digital age. I hope CJR will continue to weigh in on this critical issue.
In our November/December Research Report, “In ACORN’s Shadow,” by Michael Schudson and Julia Sonnevend, we misidentified Christopher Martin as John Martin. We apologize for the error.