Friday, October 5, 2007

SA sportswriter calls on A&M to act

Brent Zwerneman of the San Antonio Express-News has called for action on the Texas A&M journalism front in some well-worded columns recently; one right before he broke the "VIP Connection" e-mails story, and one today.

A few choice snippets:

Robert Gates did a lot of good things as Texas A&M’s president. The nation’s current defense secretary did at least one thing bad in Aggieland.

He dissolved the journalism degree. Seems like you’d want to turn out graduates eager to spread the good word about your university.

Today's column talks about his visit to an A&M reporting class this week:

One student told me everyone else she knew who wanted to major in journalism or communications went to Texas. Such a revelation will explain why, in a decade or two, the communications business will be loaded with Longhorns and sprinkled with Aggies – if that.

The students I talked to on Thursday were attentive, inquiring, courteous and a whole lot sharper than me - like my wife, an Aggie journalist. There just weren’t enough of ’em.

If A&M is smart, it’ll reinstall its journalism degree, to turn out graduates armed with spreading the good word about its university. Like the 12 I met on Thursday.


Anonymous said...

Does anyone know the status of retuning the program to a major? The AP wire ran a story from the Eagle saying the major was coming back. I e-mailed Gates then and he told me it would come back if there was enough students interested. But how do you get them interested if it's only a minor? While the minor program might prepare journalists who are already at A&M, does it recruit people who want to be journalists? I know I wouldn't have gone to A&M if there wasn't a jour major.

Sue said...

Perfect timing for this question: Just posted the address Pam Matthews made at the FJSA reception (see above) -- she mentions that conversations about a major are on the horizon, notes the number of journalism minors is up and talks about some developments that should mean more people available to teach journalism classes.

I think you are absolutely right about losing students who are serious about a journalism career -- this gives a sense of urgency to the matter. (at least for me it does)

squig said...

I'm a Class of '86 Jour grad. No longer working in journalism, but so sad to see the major dropped. One reason given was the mess the department was in - allowing too many students to take classes who weren't majors. And others that were totally administrative issues.

Why take it out on the students?

Jayme Lynn Blaschke said...

Ironic that they say they'll bring back the major "if there's enough interest" when "too many students" was the main reason given for shutting it down in the first place.

Who? Me? Bitter?