Journalism education has greatly declined over the past two decades as colleges and universities have either closed journalism programs or transformed them into "Communications Departments." Radio journalism has been especially hard hit, with diminished teaching resources given over to television instruction because TV is the more attractive broadcast medium.Michael Meckler began working in radio news with an internship at WCBE in his hometown of Columbus, Ohio, back in 1982. Over the next decade and a half, he worked at radio stations in small, medium and large markets in the Midwest and Northeast, including three years in the 1990s as a writer, producer and reporter at the pre-Westinghouse, pre-Infinity, pre-Viacom CBS owned-and-operated all-news WWJ in Detroit. He has also taught at several universities, including Michigan, Ohio State and Yale.
Consequently, many journalists starting out in radio lack basic knowledge on how to communicate effectively though the medium. In the past, much of that knowledge was learned on the job, but consolidations, cutbacks and downsizing in radio have reduced news staffs to the point where news directors can afford little time to training those new in the profession.
In this sink-or-swim environment, far too many radio journalists have figured out only how to float. They haven't been introduced to the wide range of possibilities in preparing radio news and are often frustrated either by not being able to move up to a larger market or by not having the satisfaction of becoming respected journalists within their communities.
I guess it's his background in education that motivated him to create an online basic course for anyone who wants to improve their news - writing, delivery, digging, reporting.
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