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Posts By Mary McGuire

Latest Posts | By Mary McGuire

Recent trends on university campuses are undermining value of university degrees

As universities everywhere focus on attracting and retaining students at a time when college-age populations are declining, they are not doing enough to ensure those students get a quality education, according to an article just published in The Chronicle for Higher Education.

In a piece called “A Perfect Storm for Higher Education,” an associate professor of English at Hope College in Michigan, who uses the pen name Thomas Benton,  outlines how recent trends in higher education are undermining how much students learn.

“Politicians and the public are quick to blame college faculty members for the decline in learning, but professors—like all teachers—are working in a context that has been created largely by others: Few people outside of higher education understand how little control professors actually have over what students can learn.”

Benton identifies some of the reasons college degrees in the U.S. don’t have the same value they once did. Many Canadian educators will agree that some of the same problems exist here, too.

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Professors beware: Perfectionism hurts research output

Professors who are perfectionists are less likely to produce and publish research, a new study concludes.

“The more perfectionistic the professor, the less productive they are,” says a Dalhousie University psychology professor, Simon Sherry, in an article published by University Affairs in January. Dr. Sherry says he and his colleagues used an online survey to examine the impact of perfectionism on professors. He described perfectionism as “the common cold of academia.”

The study was published in the October 2010 issue of the Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science.

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Unique new graduate journalism program at King’s College

Applications are now being accepted at King’s College for a new year-long Master’s program with two streams – one in investigative reporting and the other in entrepreneurial journalism.
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Ottawa Citizen cuts reporting staff

By  •  News

The Ottawa Citizen said goodbye to several veteran journalists last week including Bert Hill, Jenny Green, Dave Rogers, Bruce Ward and Kate Jaimet.

They are among 42 employees who opted to take voluntary buyouts as part of an effort to cut jobs and tighten operations at the paper following the purchase earlier this year by Postmedia (formerly Canwest) of a chain of newspapers which included the Ottawa Citizen. Ten editorial positions were cut, along with positions in advertising, sales and finance.

Kate Jaimet sent a tweet saying goodbye to those who have followed her coverage of various municipal issues in recent months. Then she followed it with this tweet.

“Freelancing. Wish me luck! Also hoping for fame and fortune as a novelist.”

In September J-Source reported that The National Post, also a Postmedia paper, had also offered employees the option of applying for a buyout.

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Television: problem to be managed or instrument to be played?

Alan EchenbergLong-time television producer and broadcast journalist-turned-j-school professor Alan Echenberg on how to inspire great TV journalism.
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Journalism teachers are failing their students

Wayne MacPhailThe students Wayne MacPhail sees know practically nothing about the online world or emerging media; their journalistic training reaches only a tentative few feet beyond the same traditional media it always has. He thinks that j-school training needs to be something more. 

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New degree program in Entrepreneurial Journalism

The Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York is introducing a new master of arts degree in entrepreneurial journalism.
The New York Times reports that the program will  focus on the business of managing media,
and the study and creation of new media business models, and it will
offer students apprenticeships at New York City start-ups.
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A working journalist reflects on becoming a new j-teacher

It has been 12 years since I left the relative safety and security of Carleton’s journalism school and went out to become “a journalist”. It was mysterious, exciting and worrisome: how do you land that first job? By the Ottawa Citizen's Melanie Coulson.

Continue Reading A working journalist reflects on becoming a new j-teacher

A legendary j-educator slams what’s happening in j-schools these days

Technology is taking over the curriculum at too many j-schools and the results are "disastrous," accorinding to a well-known journalism educator and the author of the widely-used News Reporting and Writing, now in it's 12th edition.

Melvin Mencher says instruction in basic reporting and writing, journalism history and ethics is being squeezed by the growing number of tech-related courses, in a story published at About.com:Journalism.

"How you can have a curriculum that's limited to 30 hours and stuff it with things like how to make a video and or create a blog?" he says in a phone interview. "What the hell does that have to do with the basics of reporting?"

Mencher wonders why more journalism faculty don't resist the shift and suggests that too many of them have spent too much time earning PhDs and too little time in newsrooms.

Continue Reading A legendary j-educator slams what’s happening in j-schools these days

Ryerson students go mobile, thanks to Motorola and Telus

A Ryerson journalism instructor is teaching his students how to be mobile journalists with a little help from Motorola and Telus.

Last year, Wayne MacPhail found the students in his class had a mix of different devices. This year, however, they will now be able to use the same devices to post audio, video, images and text to the web.

In this piece on The Next Web, Tris Hussey also describes how the students will do their reporting from local coffee shops.

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