Listening Tour

School of Journalism – Listening Tour
(Dec. 2, 2016, 1:00 p.m.)

Does the SoJ provide an environment for the free and open expression of ideas, opinions and beliefs?

Yes, it does.

It better.

Ideas and beliefs are in line with most journalists so it feels more open.

People with different political views share them and people seem to respectfully listen. Nothing has come up.

In some classes there isn’t a lot of discussion.

Professors are definitely open to mediating more intense discussions, they have the know-how and they are capable. Many of them wear their political views on their sleeves and may potentially inhibit people with different views. But mostly it feels like student indifference.

Nancy Sharkey held space for different political views. Yeah Nancy!

Does it respect individuals and value their differences?

I’ve never seen anyone disrespected. The UA is very tolerant.

In Journalism, I have heard students say they feel out of place because of history, socio-economic status. There is a sense of elitism, condescension, more like talked-down to, like you are in a newsroom. A student he knows is considering leaving the program because of it. Some people may be at a level of writing that is expected and they should be taught and supported, not personally disrespected. When there are different levels of writing, is there room to support those on a slower learning curve versus those who have less experience writing.

I feel like the School should let you write or test out of requirements. Required classes seem repetitive.

In the grad program, there is a question about whether or not people should not be admitted if they are not at the right level. There is a belief that people are let in because of diversity but are not qualified.

One instructor was disrespectful by calling the Daily Wildcat “journalistic masturbation” and then he stormed out of class.

Instructor ignores student who has opinions because they speak up and now she is ignored and he will look at her and not call on her.

Are students who are different treated fairly?

Everyone has a different idea of what is fair. Some may believe they need to get extra help and that is fair, others may not think it is fair.

Academically speaking one faculty member shows favoritism and shows openly how much he likes a particular student.  He is always praising and addressing that student more than others. Giving more interaction to that student. He gives greater compliments toward an individual student.

As a whole class, size has a factor. A class of 15 students is treated very differently than a large general class. Class is viewed collectively versus in a smaller setting you get more individual treatment.

Do the professors and staff appreciate others who are different?

STAFF: Love our staff. Paloma, Elena, Mike are all great. Janitor is amazing and so nice. Staff are super awesome. Main office Selena is always helping. They take care of business. Paloma thank goodness she is relief because she is so on top of it. 

Have you witnessed bias, prejudice or discrimination in the SoJ?

It’s hard to know. You would need have people of various ethnicities answer this. Other people of different ethnicities have talked about it. It is more subtle and less blatant.

More political bias than other bias. Sometimes in class students don’t know how to have discussion and they will gang up on those who don’t share the majority opinion. Coming off as defensive or too offensive.

A lot of times instructors won’t say anything to calm it down.

Have you experienced bias, prejudice or discrimination at the SoJ?


Is there a need to increase diversity among the professors, staff and students in the SoJ?

I think more diversity in students would be great. For professors diversity in skills would be good. Skewed toward print and old-fashioned. Students need other skills. Expansion of more modern media would be valuable. 

Research and investigative journalism have not been taught at this point (junior year). Still being taught basics (such as how to get a percentage)

Some younger perspectives on current journalism. Getting trained for getting a job in 1986.  (lots of laughter and agreement)

There is a lot outside of the program that they have to do to make themselves marketable.

General Comment: Graduate Program – Anecdote, two friends both Guatemalan, both applied. One got in but the other did not. It seemed like there was space for only one like her. Graduate program seems to sacrifice talent for diversity.  Grad program is very political.

What could be done to improve diversity and climate in the School of Journalism?

Students reiterated that diversity of skills that are taught is really needed. Has one or two that are hammering in the need for data.

Different paths through journalism are now being allowed. For example for broadcast or documentary ….this is a good step in the right direction.

More outlets in the Reading Room.