Blown To Bits

Newspapers and Universities

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009 by Harry Lewis

The Chronicle Review — the longer-format magazine that occasionally accompanies the Chronicle of Higher Education — is this week about the decline of journalism. One of the pieces asks a number of scholars whether the decline of the news media had important implications for universities. Here is a link to the answers — including my own. I decided to take a rather utilitarian tack — that universities will become even more mysterious and mistrusted institutions if we don’t have journalists touting our good works every now and then. There are lots of interesting answers to the question — I agree with my colleague Jill Lepore’s characterization of students, by the way. And she is not the only one worried about the increasing superficiality of thought, and the increasing difficulty in encouraging people to drill down and think deeply (see Ted Gup’s, for example).

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