• A brief history of journalism education and training
  • ‘post-entry’ apprenticeship model (NCTJ), an alternative to university for newspaper reporters/
  • broadcasting profession relied on the news input from NCTJ types, often ex-newspaper reporters, and even ‘subs’ together with radio and TV presenters who specialized in voice skills.
  • NCTJ was day release and night school, leading to diplomas and proficiency certificates. An element of NUJ restrictive practices; or basic standards in difficult to master skills (eg shorthand, local government structures) providing a ‘gold standard’ at least for ‘news journalists’.
  • 1980s/90s union busting and higher education expansion lead to ‘pre-entry courses’ in journalism, but the discipline was never actually defined and has remained split.
  • All degree profession, with postgraduate diplomas. Later diplomas become MA qualifications creating some confusion, especially for universities.
  • BJTC and PTC grow, as validating pre-entry qualifications. Mostly these bodies interested in presentation and editing, rather than news gathering (at least to begin with). Failure of all attempts at a single national body.
  • HE expansion : Arts School, professional training colleges, pre-92 universities and ex-polys claim to be the same sort of places, but this is not true – each has a different approach. The art school approach is best, re: Bauhaus and ‘The Factory’


What to do in colleges?

Q: Where is change coming from? New formats are coming from people playing around – clickbait, Buzzfeed – and then professionalized (eg Gogglebox)

A: Create a playground. The analog is music teaching or sports coaching. ‘To each according to need, from each according to ability”. Peer group activity and team-work is essential. This is the ONLY thing that colleges can provide, which can’t be done individually in a social media bubble. It should be one big party, and this should spill out from individual colleges to the country as a whole and indeed around the world.

Q: Who will like this?

A: Students, employers, professionals, lecturers, activists, community groups and campaigns (eg at Winch – Innocence Project, Hants FA, City Council, local theatres, charities).

Q: Who will oppose this?

A: QA system (because no portion control and variable standards and activities; lack of essays); middle managers (because QA and also potentially failing and unhappy students, plus other liabilities); some commercial media (especially hyperlocal and commercial); protectionists and promoters of restrictive practices.

Q: Who will pay for this? We don’t know what the new economic model will be. Public funding of the BBC and public funding of the universities is the issue, re: diversity. This innovation will happen/is happening, the issue is how many people will be able to access this approach.


Actually not new, but an evolutionary adaption. Key skills are the same as ever

  • Fast, accurate and fair – but the new low cost equipment allows endless practice.

(2) Educationally – the public facing aspect is revolutionary, because it eliminates plagiarism and other fatal problems (eg Fatal Errors List).