Saturday, May 23, 2009...12:26 pm

Why journalism lecturers seem so drained at this time of year

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Because marking student worked is tiring, my goodness yes.
Yesterday’s all-day marking bonanza was certainly interesting (it was my first time, but they were gentle with me). 
There were some shockers. Some of the spelling and grammar was pretty weak, and there was at least one example of a student writing submitted assessment work using SMS-speak (“u” for “you”, for example). Well, it was in the first-year. But still.
This is by no means confined to one university – it’s a reflection of general undergraduate ability when it comes to English grammar.
It does seem as if higher education – and also some work-based training –  is having to take on the responsibility for what should be basic literacy. This is a problem I’ve found with journalism students in general, as well as recent graduates, and it’s one that is echoed by publishing companies I work with.
What’s the answer? Stop spending millions trying to push more young people through university when you haven’t sorted out your primary education. And make young children believe literacy is a rule they have to obey.
No, it’s not the modern way. But I’ve seen the consequences. U no it makes sen5e…


  • This will make me unpopular in certain circles.
    I think the biggest problem is that the sorting who gets into journalism is now down by college admissions departments and not working editors.
    Back in the day, a youngster working in an editorial office would have their spelling and grammar honed to perfection, or close enough, within a few weeks of starting. If they couldn’t manage, they’d be out of the door. I’ve seen people kicked out of journalism jobs in the first few days.
    At colleges and universities, students (ie incoming journalism undergraduates) are customers – and are treated as such.

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