Panic in the newsroom. Howls of outrage anyway, at the news last month that the University of Salford is launching a combined Journalism/Public Relations degree.
This is an affront to precious hacks everywhere (that’s most of us). The Very Idea.
We’re on the side of good, battling to protect democracy. You’re the baddies, trying to stop us. Every young hack should feel like this. And I’m still certainly affronted when flaks talk as if our jobs are the same.
They really aren’t.
In reality, it’s getting harder to be this sniffy. Paul Broster, at the University notes that the nature of journalism has changed.
And there are fewer jobs in journalism, but plenty in “helping large organisations raise their profile by creating powerful digital content”.
God that’s depressing. It is also just reality. It would also be easier for hacks to remain superior about flaks if so many of us didn’t end up crossing over.
So my heart wants to tell the young people applying for this degree to give themselves a severe talk. Not to give up on the dream before they’ve even begun.
From a practical point of view, from the standpoint of getting a job and paying the bills, you need as wide a skill set as possible.
I hope hacks stay cross about this. I fear we’re losing this one though.