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Shop Talk is a weekly panel discussion about journalism issues. This week’s program featured Will Buss, who teaches in the Department of Broadcasting and Journalism at Western Illinois University and advises the student editors at the Western Courier, the students at student radio station The Dog, and the WIU chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists; Rajvee Subramanian, who teaches in the Department of Broadcasting and Journalism at Western Illinois University; and TSPR News Director Rich Egger.

Journalism Schools Now Known as Media Schools

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The Shop Talk panelists discuss the decision by several schools of journalism to change their names.

The Poynter Institute reported West Virginia University’s Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism plans to become the Reed College of Media.  A similar change was approved at Indiana University, which now has a Media School.

Panelist Lisa Kernek feels the new names reflect the huge changes in the industry. She said educators are under pressure to teach more than reporting and writing skills – they also need to teach multi-media skills.

Kernek hopes the media schools place an emphasis on telling stories well, knowing civics, and other skills required for good reporters.

Panelist Rich Egger also hopes the media schools continue to place an emphasis on training serious journalists rather than teaching students how to become entertainment reporters. 

Panelist Jasmine Garcia said the name change makes sense because of the rise of convergent journalism. She said more professional news organizations expect their reporters to have a variety of skills, such as the ability to write stories in print style plus the ability to put together video packages and shoot photographs.

Garcia also said the change could be a branding attempt by some institutions to help sell students on the degree program.

Rich is TSPR's News Director.