Open Letter To Universities Calls For 'Teaching Hospital' Approach To Journalism Education

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In an open letter to university leaders across the country, a group of foundations that fund journalism education say that in this digital age, journalism schools and communication schools need to do a better job providing real-world, practical experiences for students -- much like medical schools and law schools do.

Journalism education is being reformed at the University of Colorado's Boulder campus. In 2011 the university shut down its traditional journalism and mass communication school, though students can still earn a degree in journalism. Last spring, a committee tasked with exploring the future of journalism and information programs on the Boulder campus proposed creating a new College of Media, Design and the Arts.

Eric Newton, senior adviser of the Knight Foundation, spent a day on the Boulder campus last month, meeting with faculty, students and Chancellor Phil DiStefano.

"My biggest takeaway is that Boulder has an amazing opportunity," he said. "Because of the current situation of having ended the status quo, they have an opportunity to do something entirely new and better."

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