In a matter of hours, Ohio State will once again be open for the business of education, and tens of thousands of people from around world–some more eager to learn than others–will converge in classes across campus and take up their rightful place as Buckeyes.
I am honored to be joining the nearly 200 students who have decided that some of the journalism opportunities we offer are worthy of their time, money and interest. I am also overwhelmed by the ripe potential for have for seeing media in ways we never have before–and maybe won’t again.
From the election to the Olympics, Gawker to Facebook Live, social media to sales and buyouts, journalism is ripe with story lines and challenges requiring analysis, introspection, emulation and avoidance.
How I sometimes long for a subject that stays relatively consistent semester after semester, like French or chemistry. Instead, journalism profs every year invent and reinvent to teach the skills that make students marketable, even though the journalism jobs that will meet them when they graduate may not yet have been invented.
Students come to our journalism classes for many reasons–the subjects seem interesting or fun; students have an opinion they want to share; they want to be tellers of truth; they want to be knowers of all; it fits their schedule. For each one, all we ask is they embrace the opportunities to grow and develop in ways they may not have imagined.
This semester, as we offer Sports Media (Comm 3403) for the very first time, students are coming in to get one step closer to fulfilling dreams of sports writing, team media or broadcasting. In Magazine Writing (Comm 4202), they will seek to learn long form reporting and storytelling on the scaffolding of truth–and to design and create their own publications.
In Writing and Editing for Media (comm 2221), they will learn the reporting skills that will carry them well into any career that values comprehensive thought, investigation, timeliness and accuracy. And in Media Law and Ethics (Comm 3404), they will examine the media as it is, though maybe not as it should be, and the challenges that come with covering a world that often does not want to be covered.
Amid it all, we are sure to welcome political candidates, cover controversies, explore our place in an ever-changing world, and strive to stay one step ahead of an industry that seems to change with the same frequency as weather in the great state of Ohio (which is to say every five minutes).
Follow our journey on Twitter and read our work in The Lantern. You will be shocked, as I am every semester, by the depth of our student commitment to all that makes the media worthwhile, and their daily quest to make the best journalism they can.
Some say there has never been a more challenging time to be a journalist.I say there has never been a more exciting time to be a student journalist exploring and engaging in the world.
Welcome to the new age.