The journalism industry might not be dead, but if the Board of Trustees and university president approves it, the famous Indiana University School of Journalism will be.
IU Provost Lauren Robel recently approved plans to merge the nationally-renowned school of journalism with the telecommunications and communication and culture departments. The absorption of the journalism school in the College of Arts and Sciences would mean more than journalism students losing their building.
It would be a loss of a one of the best journalism schools in the country, a loss of journalistic independence and a loss of history.
But, according to IU President Michael McRobbie in a July interview with the Herald-Times, “There’s no point in saving a school that trains people to manage fleets of horses if the motorcar has taken over horse-drawn transportation.”
The headline on the story is "Journalism Is Not Dead, It's Changing," which is true but not that comforting a though to those of us still in the business. Did people in the horse-training business feel comforted by the idea that transportation was "changing"? Not unless they expected to be able to find a job in the motorcar industry.
Journalism will always be here as long as people want to know stuff they can't find out for themselves. What's not certain is whether mass-market journalism will survive as we know it. A lot of people involved in that enterprise will have as much trouble adapting to the new media reality as a horse trainer in the motorcar world.