Op-Ed: A case against Broadcast Journalism

by F. Timothy Mountain, Copy Editor

Glen Rock High School’s plan to introduce a Broadcast Journalism elective for the upcoming school year is misconstrued. While creating new courses and programs is certainly something that we should prioritize, I don’t believe that Broadcast Journalism, with its limited scope and minimal job opportunities, should take precedent over the multitude of other subject matter that students could potentially explore.

Obviously, the school district doesn’t have unlimited funds and resources with which to lavishly spend on any program that walks through the door — if it did, then we wouldn’t have to be choosy at all. However, there are several courses that could be instituted that will have a much wider impact on the student body.

For example, an anatomy course could seriously benefit any student looking for a future in human biology or medicine. A business management course would aid those pursuing entrepreneurship in their adult lives. A mechanical engineering course would further students’ educations in physics and teach them practical mechanical skills.

Any of these investments would benefit our students in great magnitude. Broadcast Journalism, on the other hand, is an impractical field of study.  Think Advisor, an online financial magazine, ranks Broadcast Journalism as the fourth worst-paying college major of 2014, with an average starting annual salary of $32,700.

Interestingly enough, Think Advisor ranks Occupational Health & Safety, Business Management, and Mechanical Engineering in its top 30 college majors of 2014. This is just a handful of the many courses that our administration could institute in place of Broadcast Journalism with those funds.

We do have a print journalism class already, in which Jason Toncic, the adviser, allows his students to delve into the world of Broadcast Journalism. Shows such as “The Edwards Report” or “The Panther Den,” each of which is or was created and produced by The Glen Echo and its subsidiaries, already satisfy the school’s demand for broadcast journalism. Furthermore, Mr. Toncic effectively instructs his students on the ins and outs of broadcasting. If there is no demand or need for a Broadcast Journalism class, what is the benefit of creating one?

In terms of creating and introducing new courses to the lineup, it would simply not be practical to prioritize a class such as broadcast journalism that won’t effectively prepare our students for a competitive job market.