Gerry Kreibich writes:
My original idea was to balance and fill out the picture here by way of brief contributions from people involved in the present-day teaching of journalism - the people who know how it has developed, what its priorities are, and how it is actually tackled day by day.
But it hasn't worked out like that . . . there's been a quite remarkable lack of contributions! The number of readers has been gratifying, and continues to be so. But no-one seems to want to push the story forward.
Journalism training began in July 1963 with a single 'week-long practical course for young reporters'. I got involved seven years later, and these pages tell the story up to my early retirement in 1990. But how's it going today? You tell me . . .
Dave Welford, journalism lecturer at Nottingham Trent University, contributed the following words some years ago at my invitation . . . and he's still making a lonely appearance on this page. So if you, dear reader, decide to stick your oar in with a few words about today's training scene, I'll be delighted.
I missed out on the Richmond experience, opting instead for one of the university postgraduate courses in the 80s that sounded much grander. But your memoirs bring back similar happy memories of student journalism.
I made the move into academia aged 38 after working on the Derby Telegraph and Derbyshire Times, and now have seven years’ experience of seeing raw recruits turning up in autumn with little or no knowledge of reporting, then departing less than a year later armed with NCTJ certificates and heading off for jobs with regional (and occasionally national) newspapers.
There have been occasions similar to those outlined in your memoirs when I’ve moaned about the red tape involved in teaching, and moments that I’ve cursed such a heavy marking workload. But that goes with the territory. If you’re going to try to knock people into shape you’ve got to give them plenty of work to do, then cover it with red ink!
There have also been plenty of times when I’d have loved to be back in the newsroom after a big story has broken, but on the whole I haven’t regretted for a second my move into lecturing. Your memoirs put into words a lot of my feelings about teaching, working with (mostly) keen young minds and seeing them land their first job just a matter of months after landing at Nottingham. It’s a great read for both lecturers and students alike, especially the wise words on death knocks and interviewing.
Today's journalism training - despite changes like the internet - really isn’t very different after all.