The Fall of Journalism at CU-Boulder

April 15 2011, 8:22 AM

The School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Colorad0 at Boulder claims some notable graduates, but a lack of confidence in the quality of the program has led the Board of Regents to shutter it, a first in the school's history (Denver Business Journal). By a 5-4 vote Thursday, the board dealt a final blow to the college, which is expected to end for good on June 30, although students will have the option to enroll in a "Journalism Plus" program that offers a double major in journalism and another subject, or a minor (Daily Camera).

While the Camera cites President Bruce Benson, advisory board members, and an advertising student in support of the shutdown, various other students, educators, and professional journalists have expressed considerable disappointment. Still, many admit the school has not been effective enough at preparing students for the digital realities of media careers today. However, that's no reason for the college to be closed, write three of the dissenting board members (Colorado Pols).

While practical digital training is, arguably, essential to future positions across media industries, the local chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists continues to advocate—regardless of the degrees offered—that journalism programming at the school include the "basics of reporting, photography, and storytelling," as well as ethical standards and widely held principles (SPJ Colorado Pro blog). SPJ points out the university "is currently one of 113 in the nation that holds an accredited journalism program. That accreditation is in jeopardy with the current plan to make journalism only a minor, or to be coupled with another degree."

Not all media professionals obtain degrees in journalism or mass comm, of course, as one local reporter and CU graduate (with a degree in creative writing) recently pointed out, bidding "good riddance" to the program (Westword).