Dr David Conley is a University of Queensland journalism teacher. "Journalism courses force-feed a shrinking market", his article in yesterday's media supplement in The Australian
(not online), contained some mildly interesting stuff about media companies hiring cadets with a degree, but not necessarily one in journalism or communications.
But it also contained some real idiocy:
"After all, doctors and lawyers need certification to prowl someone's biological or legal innards. Anyone, in contrast, can declare themselves a journalist. The internet has accentuated this anomaly, with countless bloggers becoming instant reporters and publishers.
Anomaly? Perhaps they're busy being bloody bloggers and not everyone in the world wants to be a journalist? Not to mention there is a difference between declaring yourself to be something, and having that declaration accepted, said the Queen of Sheba in Canberra late yesterday afternoon.
But even better, was this next bit, utterly without trace of a supporting argument:If it's important for medicine to be practiced only by professionals then it's even more important that journalism be held to similar standards," said Kerry Green, former president of the Journalism Educaiton Association and ahead of the University of South Australia's school of communication, information and new media.
Now of course journalists and media outlets can significantly affect people's rights - which is why there are defamation laws and conventions about what matters fall within the public domain - but this argument is so stupidly overstated it makes me think those media companies might be onto something in not requiring that their cadets have been trained by Dr Conley and his colleagues.