Tracking and Explaining Convergence Efforts
Among Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication


Wilson Lowrey, George Daniels and Lee B. Becker


An article in Editor & Publisher Magazine seven years ago outlined the challenge facing journalism and mass communication programs: new curricula for training “a new breed of journalists who need to be armed with a mix of skills and abilities tailored for a journalist being transformed by technology into an uncharted world of interactive media” (Yovovich, 1996). Last summer Quill, ran a journalism education cover story asking “What will they need?” The cover image of a student with a backpack filled with broadcast equipment, a reporter’s notebook, and a computer reflects the uncertainty about “convergence” on the part of many in the industry and in JMC schools.

For most JMC schools the first steps have been tentative, but there has been substantial movement toward merging separate tracks in the schools. One recent survey study found that around 85 percent of JMC schools say they have begun to pursue curricula that address media convergence. This is somewhat surprising given the lack of real movement toward media convergence in the industry, apart from a handful of high-profile, often-cited cases.

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