“A Qualitative Look at Journalism Programs in Flux: The Role of Faculty in the Movement Toward a Digital Curriculum.”

Abstract: As journalism continues to grapple with the transition to digital media, journalism educators are constantly considering how to better equip students for this changing field.  Particularly in smaller programs where resources, funding, and faculty are limited, updating curriculum can be a challenge.  A qualitative, multiple case study centered on curricular decision-making found that faculty members themselves are one of the chief factors in any potential revision of a journalism program.  Three U.S. journalism/communications programs in the midst of revising curriculum were studied, and the predominant obstacle to digital curriculum decisions at these institutions was individual members’ inability or unwillingness to learn new concepts and technologies.  From these findings, journalism and communications programs can compare their contexts to these institutions, noting if a change in faculty hiring, training, or incentives could be beneficial in order to respond to the digital age.