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Missourian not immune to industry's ills

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by azzurri, Sep 12, 2008.

  1. azzurri

    azzurri New Member

    It appears that college students at a top journalism school are learning first-hand how troubled the industry is. It's no wonder a generation is being driven away from a noble profession.

  2. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Damn... losses more than a million bucks in each of the last two years... at a student paper with a subsidy....
  3. sptwri

    sptwri Member

    The Missourian has always struggled to have enough advertising. But to lose that much money when you consider they have a free staff of reporters, well something has to change. But as an alum of the Missouri School of Journalism, the last thing that should be tried is going all digital before that option is taken by a major metro paper. MU doesn't need to lead the charge on eliminating the paper product; it might well destroy the reputation of the school. That said, there's no reason that the teaching of ethical and fair traditional journalism cannot continue, even without having a paper in a reader's hands. That's what has made the Missouri School of Journalism what it has always been, simply the best J-School in the nation.
    OK Northwestern and Columbia. Your turns.
  4. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    How many other student papers charge per copy?
  5. sptwri

    sptwri Member

    It isn't a student paper in the traditional sense. The student paper at MU is called The Maneater. This is intended to be a mainstream paper and many times it is quite good.
  6. Barsuk

    Barsuk Active Member

    As sptwri said, the Mo'ian is not a traditional student paper. It uses students are reporters, photographers, copy editors (traditional "staff" positions) but has professional editors. It attempts to compete with the Columbia Daily Tribune, the afternoon daily in town.

    It's a shame to see this happen to the Missourian, which was and is an invaluable proving ground for young journalists. I know I wouldn't have been even close to half as prepared for my first job out of school without my time working there.
  7. Piotr Rasputin

    Piotr Rasputin New Member

    This will NOT "destroy the reputation of the school." Missouri's reputation is not built on producing great newspaper writers. It is based on innovation, never falling behind, being aggressive in attempting to figure out what is next for journalism, and how to cope with it. Like most schools recognized as being among the best in their particular program of study, Missouri also seeks to determine what the future holds. Looking for ways to keep the Missourian around in some capacity despite hemmoraging (spelling?) money is part of that.

    The number of students majoring in traditional newspaper journalism has dropped quite a bit in recent years. The newspaper is still highly staffed because there are still a few dreamers left, God bless 'em. And because every magazine and photojournalism student is required to spend a semester writing for the Missourian. It is absolutely true that some are still seduced by the hustle and bustle of a newspaper newsroom, yes. But students actually picking up the free newspapers on campus and reading them? Instead of reading news on their laptops?

    Let's just say that if the Missourian ended up online-only, there would not be much of an uproar, aside from certain faculty and alums who are the newspaper types who get pissed if they have to learn to use a camera for newsgathering. Many would see it as an innovation, a major school of journalism seeing if the online-only model can work. Especially on a board where we have discussed the idea that the rising costs of newsprint might make many major newspapers look to being online only at some point, it is only nostalgia that would make anyone think this could possibly damage the reputation of a university that makes such a move.
  8. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    But this sends a horrible message in a time when the Net is not a salvation for papers, anyway, since we still haven't found a way to make money off it. The next innovation needs to come from the business school, not the journalism school.
  9. Piotr Rasputin

    Piotr Rasputin New Member

    Not that horrible of a message, if the alternative is to continue losing a million bucks a year.

    But yes, we would prefer the business school come up with a better plan for newspapers.
  10. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    Using the Missourian as an example is simplistic. As has been documented over and over, it's not money being lost by newspapers, its cuts being made to achieve a profit margin that is much higher that almost any other industry seeks. As long as newspapers can still make that high margin, quality be damned, they're not going away.

    And yes, I'd rather my journalism school churn out good journalists, not good business executives.
  11. Piotr Rasputin

    Piotr Rasputin New Member

    I spoke only of the Missourian in this thread. It's losing a million bucks a year.
  12. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    But you took that as a sign that the j-school shouldn't develop people for newspapers, and that's not quite the right thing to do.
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