Why Missouri j-school should drop its MacBook requirement

PBS MediaShift

Recent Missouri School of Journalism grad David Teeghman advises incoming freshman not to buy a MacBook from the university bookstore even though it's required.

You would be better off buying a cheap Windows laptop from Dell, uploading all of your documents to Google Docs and Dropbox and your music to Amazon Cloud Drive or Google Music Beta, and downloading the free Open Office suite of software. That will save you more than $800 on the cheapest package from the bookstore, and more than $2,000 on the most expensive one.

Teeghman says he never had a journalism class assignment that couldn't have been done on a Windows-based computer. "There is no piece of software or functionality in the line of Apple laptops that is essential to a journalism student at Mizzou or any other journalism school," he writes. Teeghman discloses that he uses a MacBook -- it was a graduation gift from his parents -- and that he carries it around in a Missouri School of Journalism-branded backpack.

It's a great computer, and given a choice between a Windows-based computer and a MacBook I would go with the MacBook every time. But I have been blessed to come from a family that can afford such extravagances. Not every potential journalism student is so lucky, nor should they be.

> 2009: Missouri j-school tells students to get an iPod touch or iPhone

> 2011: Missouri student paper editorializes against possible iPad requirement

  • 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 MediaGossip.com, a hobby site he started in May of 1999.

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