College Magazine published a list of the 10 best colleges for aspiring editors that included Ohio University as being fourth among some of the best journalism programs in the country.
“The E. W. Scripps School of Journalism faculty are always thrilled when our hard work in providing our students with a quality journalism education gets national recognition,” said Dr. Eddith A. Dashiell, Director of E. W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University.
“Being named fourth in the nation as the best journalism program for aspiring editors is tangible evidence that our commitment to professional excellence, social responsibility, experiential learning and practical experience is key to our graduates having successful journalism careers.”
Here is the list:
10. Asbury University
9. University of Florida
8. Emerson College
7. Stony Brook University
6. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
5. Boston University
4. Ohio University
3. University of Southern California Annenberg
2. University of Texas Austin
1. University of Missouri
Facebook’s algorithm has been posting this sponsored story in my social media feed in recent weeks – same as many other folks. Published in 2019, the story says, “Most universities don’t offer an editing-specific program, so aspiring editors must look into writing and journalism programs that develop the skills they need. Aspiring editors should look for a high ranking journalism program, unique extracurricular activities and faculty involvement.”
OU has this story on its website that references the College Magazine article: https://www.ohio.edu/news/2022/07/ohio-named-among-best-universities-nation-develop-editors
When I first saw College Magazine’s story, I was impressed – still am. A lot of good journalists and editors owe a lot to the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism including this ink stained wretch who has won more than a few state press association awards over years including the Henry Lee Weathers Freedom of Information Award from the Associated Press.
But then I got to thinking as a journalist should when critically analyzing such a story or any news for that matter. While grateful that OU made the list at a magazine that I never knew existed until recently, I got to wondering about that list. How did Asbury University earn a spot?
I can assure our readers that Asbury has a solid program and I’ve walked around that Kentucky campus quite a bit – even hired one its impressive seniors as editor of a weekly newspaper.
But how did Asbury make the list but not the University of Kentucky’s School of Journalism?
A proud Bobcat who grew up in North Carolina, I love how OU is listed higher than the 6th ranked Tarheels at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Chapel Hill has one of the best journalism programs in the nation. Why did Chapel Hill make the list but Columbia University did not? I feel fairly certain that Columbia has produced some top editors.
Don’t get me wrong – the schools on the list deserve a high-five for producing quality editors and journalists, however, there are some schools on this magazine’s list that will always rise above their peers. Ohio University’s E. W. Scripps School of Journalism is consistently ranked as one of the best programs in the nation.
In the past, the school has featured Pultizer Prize winning professors and journalists at the top of their fields.
In addition, Scripps’ students benefit from a wide offering of local media outlets including the WOUB, Athens Messenger, The Post and The Athens News. Editors at these long serving media sources have shaped careers including Terry Smith (Athens News), (news editor) Steve Robb/Joe Higgins (Athens Messenger), as well as countless producers/directors for WOUB who have gone onto work at national media outlets.
These professionals and Scripps’ professors have taught legions of students to think critically, never accept anything at face value, to reject dogma and how to craft a balanced and accurate story that conveys the facts, serves the public interest and maybe, just maybe, gets framed on the wall of a high school or local business, perhaps be taped onto a family’s refrigerator.
The whole Scripps/OU/Athens experience is what forged many students into the top journalists they’ve become.
On that note, I’ve always considered The Athens News, certainly the Athens Messenger, big tent media outlets – open to all be it liberals, conservatives, drag queens, ABBA fans, environmentalists, hunters, haters, dogs and cats.
If you want to get involved, be a part of the solution, maybe send a news tip or just want to chat, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Athens Messenger and Athens News Editor Allan Brown at email@example.com
I’ve always said it’s not the size of the publication, but the size of the story.
Whether locally, regionally and nationally – the nation needs good journalists, maybe more than ever.
Miles Layton is the Region Editor for APG Ohio.