Educators debate: Do journalists still need shorthand?

Journalism educators validating various courses yesterday discussed whether journalists still need to be taught shorthand, Charlie Beckett of the Polis journalism thinktank notes on his blog.

Beckett sums up the debate as being about course priorities when teaching time is limited: “In a world of new media where everything is digitised and where so much of journalism is about re-working material, do you need to devote 100 hours to teaching 80 words per minute of scribble?

Both he and the Observer sports journalist Denis Campbell were firmly in the pro-Teeline camp. But Beckett also wonders: “Those of us who have shorthand like to think that it is vital, but is it any more important than an ability to type fast enough for Twitter?”

Update 22/5: As the debate rumbles on, Beckett has noted in the comments below that he would not consider himself “firmly” in the pro-shorthand camp, as I wrote. He has also added a longer extract to the original post.

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