Prof: Why I teach critical thinking and values in my journalism classes

McGuire on Media | Online Journalism Review

"Students find much of life, business and journalism to be mysterious. They are going to forget a lot of the stuff we teach them," writes ASU Cronkite School journalism professor and ex-Star Tribune editor Tim McGuire. "They are not going to forget ideas about life or how to organize a cogent argument. The more relevancy we provide the more engagement we will get." More of his teaching philosophy:

* Don’t talk more than 8 minutes without seeking discussion and input but if that material is putting people to sleep I move to another area.

* Read the class constantly. Be willing to trash your plan and go with what works.

* Understand where the students are in their lives and respect them for it. Most of our students are incredibly anxious about their futures. Contemplating the business and future of journalism is a far more trying experience for them that it is for a 60 year-old tenured professor. It is my obligation to meet them where they live.

While McGuire has good tips for teachers, Robert Niles has advice for incoming journalism students, including this: "Ignore anyone who tries to lecture you about 'the wall' or the impropriety of editorial employees knowing too much about the business side of the news industry. Those individuals' time is past in the journalism field, and while they might be able to teach you some editorial skills, the skills they can teach you are incomplete for what you will need as a journalist." || Here is the advice he gave to journalism students last year. || Greg Linch's "Top Ten List of Tips for Journalism Students" is a few years old, but it's still relevant. "Be able to evolve and have an open mind," he advises. "Above all, you must be able to adapt to the changing world of journalism. ...Similarly important is being entrepreneurial and being able to do it yourself. Being spoon-fed ain’t gonna happen, folks."

  • Jim Romenesko

    From 1999 to 2011, Jim Romenesko maintained the Romenesko page for the Poynter Institute, a Florida-based non-profit school for journalists. Poynter hired him in August of 1999, after seeing his, a hobby site he started in May of 1999.


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