Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Dan'l Webster, call on Line Two

Ahem. Would anyone at the World's Most Refulgent J-School have any further details?

The MU School of Journalism is requiring that all incoming freshmen have iPhones or iPod Touch devices to “help students adjust to freshmen year,” Associate Dean Brian Brooks said. “It also would allow them to record lectures and review it. Many schools are doing it now, and it seemed like a great idea to us.”

So in addition to the all-but-mandatory Apple laptop, we can now add another all-but-mandatory iProduct? And the quo pro all those quid is ...?

MU gets discounts for buying Apple products, but Brooks said the school will receive no additional discounts for mandating students to buy the iPhone or iPod Touch devices. Media representatives with Apple were not available for comment this morning.

Well, keep trying. At any rate, in the many years I have spent committing, teaching or commenting on the craft, I have yet to see a piece of journalism that would have been improved by the iPod. Granted, most reporting on quantitative social science would be better if you duct-taped an iPod to a baseball bat and hit the reporter upside the head with it, but in nearly all cases you can get equally good results without the iPod (just keep your weight on the back foot a little longer).

I hope we're at least getting a really, really big statue for the quad out of this. Or that we're really, really sure we got all the negatives.* Of all the sheep.

* Or Photoshops. Those crazy kids!


Anonymous Peter Barnes said...

That's just plain wrong.

Here's some food for thought:

I should also mention that the one thing the AT&T-powered iPhone can't do consistently is, well, make phone calls. That's an activity my alma mater used to encourage its aspiring journalists to engage in on a regular basis.

12:08 AM, May 07, 2009  
Blogger The Ridger, FCD said...

So a cheap cell phone and a tape recorder won't work? They got any scholarship students there?

5:44 AM, May 07, 2009  
Blogger John Cowan said...

A tape recorder. Ah, if only! But no, this is the Land of the Free to Misquote.

11:15 AM, June 01, 2009  

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