Well, J-School Profs Have to Do Something

Protecting Media from Comedy Skits

By Published on .

There's a school of thought in the journalism biz that J-Schools are a racket--a waste of time and money dreamed up by administrators looking to separate more money from students and by unemployable writers who'd like to turn a craft into an art, enshrine it in academia and suck all the life out of it. (There are a few other schools of thought, but I think you can tell which one I belong to.)

OK, so that may be oversimplifying things a bit, but it never helps when the J-Profs, in their quest to protect the -- please, try not to laugh -- the purity of journalism, make pronouncements on the state of media. Case in point? Boston University's Louis Ureneck who's worried what Brian Williams' hosting gig on Saturday Night Live means for us all.

"This is a publicity gimmick and only serves to muddy the distinctions between news and entertainment television."

My former colleague Jon Fine says it best: "I'm glad to see someone speaking up on this one. Because if by some horrifying accident I found myself watching Saturday Night Live and saw Brian Williams yukking it up with the cast, you know, I might get all confused, and think that they'd changed the timeslot and the format of the nightly news without telling anyone!"
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