Students hear tabloid views

Congratulations to the News of the World for championing a free
press and the right to “publish and be damned” by cancelling
scholarships to City University’s Journalism Department, because of a
“rant” against the tabloids by one teacher.

As Stuart Kuttner
knows, the department’s reputation has been built up over more than a
quarter of a century by encouraging budding journalists to believe that
a vibrant media needs a variety of voices, not least the tabloids.

Even Roy Greenslade’s course gets to hear the tabloid views, not just his.

Indeed
all the courses, and especially the Newspaper course, hear a variety of
voices. And not a few graduates choose to join tabloids, including the
NoW, as it acknowledges itself.

Would NoW support governments
cutting off funding to journalism schools because students are taught
to chase the truth and question spin or because it objects to a
department providing a platform to practitioners it doesn’t like?

Will
talks with other departments now have to include the caveat that
academic and information freedom be set aside so that NoW or other
tabloids are not criticised?

A more clever move to show the NoW
commitment to good journalism would be to offer City funds for a
research fellowship in the significance of the tabloids in public life.

Colin Bickler Fellow in International News Journalism Department City University

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