How journalism school is like overdraft fees

July 15, 2009

Overdraft fees and lottery tickets are both in their own way taxes on ignorance, or at least a lack of sophistication — which is one reason why both should be carefully regulated. Richard Sine, today, adds another item to the list: J-school tuition fees. He has a clear message for deans of journalism schools around the country:

Do not charge so much money to walk through the door that the program is open only to the rich, the idle, or the financially illiterate. That’s not a journalism school; that’s a gold-plated welfare program for your old newsroom buddies, built on the backs of starry-eyed naïfs.

I think it’s fair to say that going to journalism school increases your chances of getting a job in journalism. If J-school graduates are almost by definition financially naive — if they weren’t financially naive they’d never have spent so much money on J-school — then maybe J-school is only serving to increase the number of innumerates working in journalism. Which is a sobering thought.


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