Nick Lemann Justifies His Existence
Have you turned on the TV lately? On it, you can see fat people voluntarily getting weighed in front of studio audiences, young models who travel across the country to be shamed for not having enough self-confidence, washed-up rock stars telling total strangers that they really need to let their guard down and open up their hearts. Judgment is hot right now. Everyone wants to be judged. Which is probably the reason Columbia Journalism School dean Nick Lemann, who was supposed to be sending graduating students their final evaluations, instead "accidentally" e-mailed his students the evaluation he had written for the provost — of himself. In the memo, now on Romenesko, he praised his administration for creating the Masters of Arts program and adjusting the curriculum of the Master of Science program in "response to the rapid onset of the Internet as the dominant delivery medium for journalism," among a bunch of other good things. But is it enough? No, Lemann reports, it is not. "I don't think I have been nearly effective enough in persuading either our own Journalism School community, or other journalism schools, or the wider world of the profession, that the professional education of a journalist should include intellectual content," he said.