Journalism and TCF will mutually benefit from merger

Peyton Shepard

As a newly indoctrinated journalism student, I can firmly say this statement is what pushed me away for five semesters from what I eventually (hesitantly) decided was my calling. And it’s a mentality that the journalistic community, it seems, is doing one of two things with: 1. denying it with traditionalist fervor, or 2. slowly accepting it and crawling over to a dark corner of an empty room to curl up into a fetal position and cry about it. Newspapers continue to hemorrhage money and eventually close their doors as Buzzfeed and other online-only publications grow to greater prominence by the day, and the self-proclaimed “old men” of journalism cling to their broadsheets, griping about the terrifying realm of new media and ultimately choosing not to pursue it.

I don’t fear new media as a student journalist. In fact, the majority of my days are spent in a newsroom with other student editors trying to figure out how to accommodate the demands of digital journalism while also continuing to produce a traditional print product that, despite the current trends and for all intents and purposes, is doing incredibly well. What I fear is that the journalism/telecommunication and film merger in the College of Communication and Information Sciences is going to be the death knell of journalism.

Because journalism isn’t dead. It just requires something different. TCF coursework could be that 
something different.

Now, don’t misunderstand me, I do see where the merger feels incredibly one-sided to the TCF community, though I’d be more than willing to bet the administration will find it in their hearts to provide them with a consolatory TCF-ish track or concentration within the major itself. I’m sure many TCF majors, in the wake of this merger, are going to believe this is the journalism department’s way of clinging onto whatever we can find as a means to stay afloat, that tacking journalism onto their course of study will simply water down what might have been a useful degree. But in the way of all misunderstood film antagonists, I say to them, “We’re not so different, you and I.” Nearly every list chronicling the most “useless” collegiate fields of study rank film pretty high. There’s a stigma that comes with any liberal arts degree, and film is no exception.

I feel there’s a lot that journalism and TCF have to teach one another. Do I hate that this opportunity comes at the expense of losing two separate courses of study? Yes. But whatever the fiscal reasoning may be behind the fusion – as I’m almost positive it has to do with money and nothing more – we can find ways to benefit from the additions to media curriculum. The lines between traditional journalism and visual media are converging and blurring. Journalism doesn’t have to die, and film doesn’t have to be useless, when we have the means to 
supplement them with one another.

Peyton Shepard is a junior majoring in journalism. She is the Print Managing Editor of The Crimson White.