To be perfectly honest, I didn’t dedicate my life to studying and teaching journalism in order to help people learn to sell products or bolster a company’s image. My heart and my roots are old school, democracy-lovin, watchdoggin journalism.
But to those who think collegiate journalism programs are now obsolete, I say au contraire mon fraire. The stuff we are really good at – creating content, reporting, storytelling – are more in demand than ever before.
According to this piece by marketing and new media expert Brian Solis, “brands can earn greater attention, reach, and results by investing in a journalistic approach. It’s a move away from promotional content to the delivery of useful, entertaining, or meaningful engagement and experiences through new media.”
Business schools and marketing programs do a great job teaching students social media strategy and ROI, but journalism departments remain the place to go for actually gettin ‘r done when it comes to creating stuff that will capture attention, increasingly in short supply in our information-saturated world.
I think this is a good thing not only for the sustainability of my chosen profession, but because even if you ultimate goal is making better content that will make people buy Wheaties, if you spend some time in a journalism school, maybe just a little bit of the respect for good journalism and its importance in our society might rub off, and the chances are better that you will become somebody who will consume and demand it. And if we all live in a world in which we are forced to view ads, they might as well be interesting and relevant ones that actually impart some useful information.
**Update: And here’s another piece I just came across by Jeremiah Owyang that shows the importance of good content. He says: “Our industry is afflicted with shiny object syndrome, a focus on the new tools, without thinking about the content that will drive it.”