Nov 24, 2010

Medill embraces lousy name change

The Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University wants a longer, uglier name. It's fitting, given the state of communication these days - lots of vague words and neo-jargonism trying to show a sense of knowledge about an unknown future.

The new name: The Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing

Mark Oppenheimer does a good job explaining why the change is misguided:
First, what an ugly, clumsy name! What the hell is “integrated marketing” anyway? Anybody who knows probably doesn’t need to take a class in it. And if a journalism student of mine ever wrote anything as obtuse as that, I would give him or her a C, at best.

Second, we all should be a little concerned that the same schools that teach people to see through bogus claims are also the same schools teaching students how to perpetuate bogus claims. Journalism and marketing are at odds. Not always, of course. Heck, most journalism is not about exposing some hidden truth, and most marketing is not about deceiving people. But much of the time journalists and marketers are at odds: the former trying to see through spin or propaganda or advertising, the latter trying to spin, propagandize, advertise.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Could be worse. Singleton School of Journalism.

Andrew said...

Does anybody know what percentage of J-school students actually want to be journalists, as opposed to flacks?

Anonymous said...

I think that is impossible to decipher. You can ask them, and my guess is that most want to be journalists. However, the path is curved and filled with potholes along the way.