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Tools of the Trade

I’ve been asking why so many were outraged by the Missouri School of Journalism listing either an iPhone or iPod Touch as a required purchase. Having spent some time in university administration in the past, my first thought was that by making the items required, the school was trying to qualify the gadgets for coverage under the Federal Student Loan Program.

Astonished that this would be a subject for debate, I asked questions like: Are these students of journalism or not? Is a personal media device honestly considered extravagant for those whose responsibility it will be to reveal news as it unfolds and record history as it is being made?I continued the discussion in my head: These devices will become as commonplace in the 21st Century classroom as classroom projectors and whiteboards.

Alas, my shock and sense of superiority was cut short after further reading today because at the heart of the matter is not so much that these devices would be required, but that the required devices were Apple products as opposed to the other manufacturer choices out there. One student even created the Facebook group “Rotten Apple” calling into question the School of Journalism’s relationship with Apple and a possible conflict of interest. I tend to think the administrators probably went with the technology the most familiar to the majority of students. Apple’s marketing genius met with sour grapes--not such breaking news.

 
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