Persuasive Curricula Has Long History
Jones, Gerre, The Quill
Dear editor: I read the August 2000 issue of Quill with interest; particularly the articles about journalism education. Your editorial comments did not appear to reflect Macy Guppy's more positive remarks about the inclusion of public relations and advertising courses in J-- schools.
You and Prof. Robert McChesney seem to agree that PR practitioners are the mortal enemies of truth, justice and the American Way. And that the Johnnycome-lately recognition of public relations and advertising by J-schools borders on the criminal; abetting the enemies of true journalism, according to Pro McChesney.
I find it hard to believe that anyone in journalism today really thinks that offering PR and advertising courses in J-- schools is of recent vintage or, in your words, that they are "pie in the sky" theories.
When I was in J-School at the University of Missouri in 1946-48 many students (including me) chose to pursue an advertising major. There was no PR major as such, but a PR course was offered - and it was a popular class among MU's J-School students. That was over a half century ago and the courses had been available for some years before I arrived.
I can't agree that including such courses in today's J-schools is anything close to a "break with tradition" or any kind of a violation of J-schools' traditional focus. …