Monday, 11 April 2011

Journalism college offers to train MacKenzie

Kelvin MacKenzie has been offered training by a journalism college so that he can brush up his editorial skills to embrace the digital age.

The offer follows an interview MacKenzie gave to City University's X-City, which was repeated in the Independent, in which he called for all journalism courses to be closed down.

Now Professor Tim Luckhurst and Ian Reeves, from the Centre for Journalism at the University of Kent, have written to the Independent stating: "Kelvin MacKenzie is right about one thing. A degree in media studies is not a preparation for a career in journalism and no student should be misled into imagining it is. Beyond that his argument is utterly misguided, deplorably out of touch with modern journalism and atypically devoid of common sense.

"There are in British universities a handful of excellent degrees in convergent multimedia journalism that combine high academic standards in traditional disciplines including history, politics and law, with superb teaching of print, broadcast and online skills. They can be identified via two key characteristics: exceptionally high admissions standards, usually including interview and written test, and professional accreditation by the National Council for the Training of Journalists.

"In the Centre for Journalism here at Kent, rigorously selected students from a diverse range of backgrounds learn to work to a professional standard. They do mandatory work experience at the KM Group. They get published in print and online and they make broadcast-quality radio and television. Some of them have had work published in The Independent.

"The world has changed a lot since print skills alone made a good journalist. Today's reporters need computer and broadcast skills Kelvin has never acquired. Perhaps he would like to learn. We'd be pleased to help."

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