“If the people who are supposed to keep us aware are unaware themselves, how can we know how to stand up for ourselves?” asks Jay Schalin in today’s Pope Center feature, titled “Ignorance Is Not Bliss for Journalism Majors.”
Schalin, the Center’s Director of Policy Analysis, is a former reporter who understands how important it is for professional journalists to have knowledge of basic economics, history and political theory. That’s why he was shocked to learn that UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Media and Journalism recently eliminated its economics, U.S. government, and American history course requirements.
Instead, journalism majors will be able to substitute dubious general education courses, such as “Drama 470: Survey of Costume History” and “Women’s Studies 410: Comparative Queer Politics.” “Is [this] decision based on an astonishing lack of awareness…. Or is it due to cynical pandering to students who complain about challenging requirements that force them to expand their horizons?” asks Schalin.
Jesse Saffron is a writer and editor for the Pope Center. In addition to writing articles and editing website content, Saffron manages the Pope Center’s summer internship program. He also is a frequent contributor to the National Review’s higher education blog, Phi Beta Cons.