I went to see a panel earlier this month entitled "What Comes After Newspapers?"
All in all, it was fantastic- you can see the entirety of it here
or just read a fuller summary of it here.
After an evening full of really interesting talk about the currently tumultuous
state of journalism, the panel opened up
for questions from the crowd. Most of those questions ended up concerning some really specific things about the field or about local SF news media.
Fortunately, I was able to squeeze in to ask the last question of the
night, and I made it really general (you can see the video of me here):
What would the members of the panel say to a
young person deciding whether or not to go to journalism school?
Although Phil Bronstein weighed in by saying, essentially,
"I'd tell him/her to go for it," I think two things about the room's
response suggests that many other journalism professionals would advise otherwise.
One is that everyone *cracked
up* when I asked the question, even though I wasn't at all trying to
play it for laughs.
The second is Bronstein's off-hand comment in
the middle of his spiel about how UC Berkeley
journalism grad students are doing local reporting as part of a joint
program with the SF Chronicle: "Now, if we'll be able to pay you if
you're one of those [reporters]... we'll have to see."
Call me old-fashioned, but: If there's no guarantee that a paying
position will be available at the end of it all, why would anyone
invest the money to train or intern in a certain professional field? It seems to
me that the proponents for journalism school may have to start coming
up with more convincing arguments, because I, for one, wouldn't buy