Don’t get me wrong. I am extremely proud to be a part of the Walter Cronkite School. It’s one of the most prestigious journalism schools in the country. But that’s the thing. It’s one of the best “journalism” schools. As a PR major on the verge of graduation, I can remember sitting in my required JMC and MCO classes. I would always be wondering, “What does this have to do with PR?” Yes, print ethics and the future of business journalism are important but hello! What about us? Has the j-school forgotten about us? I would appreciate more emphasis on PR in our classes.
I wanted to find out if PR should really be under the journalism curriculum so I found this argument by Bob Conrad. It gives ten reasons about why PR should not be in journalism schools. They are all fascinating, but there was one reason that grabbed my attention, “Public relations professionals are (slowly, at times) embracing and celebrating new media. The latest issues of the PRSA newsletter were ripe with social media articles and Twitter was a front page feature.” Does that mean all this practice on how to write a perfect press release was in vain?
Mike Keliher wrote a blog to counter Conrad’s argument. As a part of his post, he writes, “The future of PR is a return to what should have always been our focus: telling stories effectively, communicating and interacting with people. It’s not a business function; it’s a human function.”
Does that mean is it our responsibility as PR majors or “problem solvers” to think of a new business model for journalism? Is that really our problem? Obviously this wouldn’t be if we were in the business school.
What do you think?