Bad Bedfellows | Letters | Chicago Reader

Bad Bedfellows 

In the article "Saving Journalism From the Journalists" [Hot Type, June 3] Orville Schell, dean of the graduate school of journalism at the University of California-Berkeley, mentions the paradox that "none of us went to journalism schools." But that's not the critical paradox, nor is it the pressing question regarding university-affiliated journalistic ethics.

Columbia University, one of the "five distinguished universities" that will be an integral part of the Carnegie-Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education, has all too often been an active participant in practices that threaten the "integrity of the profession." Most recently, Columbia cut a deal with the New York Times so that the university could dictate coverage of its Middle East studies department controversy. Interestingly, the Columbia campus newspaper was offered the same deal and refused it (although the student writers have let the university slide on other serious ethical issues). Columbia, like the other "distinguished universities," has a brand name to protect, and the university manipulates the press accordingly. It certainly looks like the Carnegie-Knight people, as frequently happens with these equally "distinguished" philanthropies, either have been played or are not sincerely interested in journalistic integrity.

Liam Cunningham


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