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Letter from the editor: OSU should require a journalism class for undergraduates

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At the end of my time here, I’m calling for an addition to Ohio State’s general education requirements: a required journalism class.

I often see my peers turn to Buzzfeed quizzes and Upworthy posts for their entertainment and news needs. I’ve taken my share of Buzzfeed quizzes and watched quite a few Upworthy videos, but those supplement my media diet — they don’t compose its entirety.

It’s also not right to me that some students know nothing about the unbiased news. And I have this feeling that many in my generation aren’t about to start a subscription to a newspaper even after they graduate.

Ohio State should fix that.

What’s the point of a college education if you don’t know what’s going on in the world, or how politicians side on key issues? How likely are people my age to flip on the local news or to follow a few news organizations on Twitter?

Many of my peers are extremely well-informed. Others aren’t. They think of newspapers as dying, not as something that needs to be saved.

Either during the freshman survey course or as a course taken during students’ senior years, there should be a set course where OSU students learn about these things. They would learn how to tell if an article has good sourcing. They would learn what reporters aim to do. They would learn why their favorite sports reporter probably doesn’t show a bias toward their favorite team.

Among all of the other general education requirements, which range from science courses to writing courses in the College of Arts and Sciences, a journalism class is a natural fit. It doesn’t need to be about how to be a journalist, rather, just about how to be an informed citizen and an informed consumer of news.

As journalists, our audience is often what holds us accountable. We welcome constructive criticism. So we need an informed audience to do that, in order to keep the system in checks and balances.

After all, our main goal is to hold people in power accountable to something bigger than themselves.

6 comments

  1. Only if there were some campus-wide news outlet that students could turn to for local, national and international news … 🙂

  2. What you describe is known as information literacy, useful in all facets of the work world. Librarians at OSU already teach this, though the courses are elective, not required courses. I agree that a required gen ed course on info lit/the information economy would be a useful approach.

  3. As if the Lantern is the moral beacon of journalism LOL

  4. I thought the entire point of college was to teach critical theory/critical thinking? Considering some of the “journalism” produced by the Lantern, I am unpersuaded that this class will do anything but suck more tuition dollars from students. If journalism majors cannot engage in critical thinking, one class is nothing but a feel good measure.

  5. High comedy – OSU journalism as a required course. You’re an idiot.

  6. Sadly I disagree as the parent of a buckeye J School grad. A Seventeen mag editor once told me I would make a great PR rep (after it featured my oldest child). Someone else asked me how I know so much? I replied I travel (military, DOD/NSA, leisure) and read a great deal. So I don’t need a J School class to teach my children to learn the world. I hate the news because it’s negative and depressing but I do tune in just in case a great story hits the airwaves. I don’t own any social media accounts but I still know more than my social media addicted children. My J School grad texted me from the TV station to ask me a sports question which I answered. Told coworkers “Would you believe she hates sports!” lmao I love knowledge and that is what parents must teach their children. So proud I sent my child to OSU……

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