Once upon a time degrees were only for those who wished to enter professions and apprenticeships served those who aspired to trades. To make this really clear, an author is a professional and a journalism is a trade. Splitting hairs, one may say, but no. A non fiction book will require extensive study and an intense correlation of detail in a literary delivery. A fiction book will require a lot of imagination and the same dedication to study and a literary delivery.
Journalism was acquired via an apprenticeship for a very good and valid reason. It is a hands-on skill and needs to have a hands-on training. A boy would start at the bottom and know every step of the process. The apprentice would know how to get a feel of the news and would have the necessary mechanical training to be able to write. The newspaper would be produced in an immaculate and flawless style.
Fast forward to some idiot deciding that universities should have more courses and should cater for subjects formally covered by apprenticeships. What is wrong with this? Universities do not teach basic mechanics of language. They presuppose a person is of a certain literacy before they are accepted. They cannot really teach the art of journalism as it is a hands-on trade. What emerges is what everyone has the pleasure of attempting to read when they peruse a newspaper. Let us take the simple hyphen. It is intended to establish a connection between words to form a compound conception. What it is not intended for is to break up the syllables of a word. In a recent paragraph of under three hundred words there were fifteen instances of inappropriate, nay ridiculous, hyphens. Let’s start with Ire-land and move through to in-volvement. The really sad part of all this is the lack of proof reading, or maybe it is the blind judging the blind.