The death of journalism VII.
I’ve long wondered what’s being taught in journalism school ever since the profession’s role has become “truth teller” instead of old school “objective reporting.”
The answer came yesterday when the University of North Carolina granted Nikole Hannah-Jones tenure in its School of Journalism and Media.
Tenure became an issue because Hannah-Jones is the wokest of the woke, having penned the controversial “1619 Project” in the New York Times. Some scholars criticized the work, based on its thesis that the Founding Fathers’ primary motivation wasn’t independence from the British but to protect slavery. Her assertion that the nation’s founding was in 1619 when the first slave ship arrived in America is, well, made-up, race-based nonsense.
That she was given the Pulitzer Prize for her essay introducing the series sure says a lot about the award’s value. Even Walter Hussman, whose name is on school, found fault with the idea that such a careless, agenda journalist should be granted tenure.
Hannah-Jones celebrated the decision by defining the controversy as– natch–just another example of white suppression. Said she, “This fight is about ensuring the journalistic and academic freedom of Black writers, researchers, teachers, and students.”
Threadbare and tiresome, that. If that’s a measure of her competence and scholarship, it’s one more knifing of journalism as it should be practiced.
Yet, her appointment was greeted with hosannas. Senior media writer Tom Jones as the preciously woke Poynter–the self-appointed guardian of left-wing orthodoxy–wrote:
Any journalism school would be lucky to have her. Granting her tenure should have been a no-brainer, a rubber-stamp, barely worth discussing….
This was about race, plain and simple. The pushback came from those uncomfortable with the “1619 Project.” The school blinked in the face of those unwarranted concerns and, in the process, risked alienating and potentially losing a journalist full of talent, impact and experience.
No, Tom. She made it about race. It was, instead, about competence. It was about indoctrination of young journalists in the fantasy world of perfect wokeness. It was about how journalism has become no longer a profession, but a megaphone for a political creed.
Journalism schools ought to start teaching their students self-respect and independence. So its practitioners stop being so willing to be so easily used.To subscribe to the Barbershop and be notified when I post, type your email address in the box and click the “create subscription” button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.