A blog about new media and it’s role in IMC.

Should the iPhone be required at school?

with 3 comments

I found out today that the journalism school at my alma mater, the University of Missouri, is now requiring incoming freshmen to buy an iPhone or iPod Touch.

What’s the primary reason given? From “The Maneater,”a student paper unaffiliated with the j-school:

Some lectures, such as those for the Career Explorations in Journalism class, will be recorded. Students will then be able to download the recorded lectures to their iPods or iPhones.

Let’s play Really with Seth and Amy….
Really Mizzou? Really, you’re going to tell journalists to use their financial aid to avoid going to class? Really, you are going to require students to ONLY buy an Apple product? Doesn’t this present a really big conflict of interest when these students go to report on Apple, when the school is clearly schilling for the company?

For the past two years, the journalism school has strongly suggested students purchase a MacBook or MacBook Pro computer. Students who do not have Apple computers can still take all the same courses, but (associate dean for undergraduate studies at the journalism school Brian) Brooks believes the journalism school has had great success with all students having the same computer. He said he hopes the iPod touch or iPhone requirement will have similar results.

Convergence journalism instructor Mike McKean also weighed in.

McKean said journalism students have to be taught how to use mobile communication, and the number of applications available on the iPod makes it ideal for students…”TigerTech tells us that 85 percent of music players on campus are iPods,” Brooks said.

Well, really…? For Apple, this seems like a PR DREAM! Mizzou has become a “preferred provider” meaning it strongly encourages students to buy Apple products. Yeah, “PC” is barely mentioned. According to the Journalism school’s own “computer requirement” page, “Last year, 99.5 percent of incoming students chose the Apple option.” Wow! When you strongly discourage choice, look what happens!

What do you think? Should Mizzou let students choose which company they get their technology from?


Written by fsk50a

May 6, 2009 at 2:21 am

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