Why Journalismís A Joke
R. Cort Kirkwood
of what is wrong with modern journalism showed up in the recent
news coverage of a minor event:
Wilson, the late comedian, endowed several colleges with journalism
scholarships of $23,500. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but
how the money will given out is the problem.
bad conditions come with the money: First, only blacks can get it.
Second, they get it after pontificating about Wilson in an essay.
the Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J., reports, leaves money for "African-American"
students because his publicist convinced him it was a good way to
help black kids after his death. Indeed it is.
was Wilsonís money. He had a right to give it to whomever he wanted.
But it seems unfair, in an officially colorblind society, to limit
scholarships to one race.
course, we donít live in a colorblind society, so no one will protest.
Indeed, in journalism, racial favoritism is the order of the day
with its many "diversity" programs, one of which led to
the hiring of Jayson Blair, the professional liar who brought down
two editors at the New York Times.
Charlton Heston leaving money behind for white journalism students.
You donít have to imagine long to know a university would not accept
such money unless it could distribute it to anyone, regardless of
race. Charges of racism would fly, the schools would run for cover.
so, however, with the Wilson scholarship, or jobs at newspapers
reserved for minorities. This is known as "diversity,"
students get Wilsonís money is another matter. The exercise is preposterous,
another example of how pathetic higher education is.
students must be juniors or seniors, show financial need and maintain
a 3.0 grade average. This last is a no-brainer in a modern college,
particularly when the "major" is journalism. Majoring
for four years in journalism is itself a bit of a laugh, but in
any event, the key condition on the money is a 500-word essay on
the chairman of the journalism department at Rutgers Universityís
campus in New Brunswick put it, students must wax poetic "on
some aspect of Flip Wilsonís work and impact on television or comedy."
was, students wrote about more weighty matters, but alas, this is
the age of television. At least the students will be doing a little
history, as the Ledger observed, because most of them werenít born
when Wilson was in his prime.
aside, colleges routinely accept this kind of nonsense as scholarship.
Wilsonís "impact on television or comedy"? Sorry to point it
out, but however funny "Geraldine" was, the cosmos would
have survived and little would have been missed had Wilson been
repairing televisions instead of appearing on them.
had a right to give away his money as he pleased and to anyone he
wanted. The students should be grateful for his generosity, and
so should the rest of us.
if racially targeted scholarships are acceptable for blacks, then
they are acceptable for everyone. Weíll see what happens if anyone
ever is ever crazy enough to endow a whites-only scholarship.
for the essay, itís a laugh. If this is what we journalists now
accept as serious writing, then the joke is on us.
columnist R. Cort Kirkwood [send
him mail] is managing editor of the Daily News-Record
in Harrisonburg, Va.
© 2003 LewRockwell.com
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