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5/15/2000: Film name change troubles some

I just had a brilliant idea. In the name of efficiency, let’s get rid of Medill’s junior year internship program. Students can just stay at the university and write for The Daily. That’s all the experience they need anyway. They could just change the name of the school to “The Medill School of Cultural Editing and Writing,” because after all, it’s not a journalism department, it’s an editing and writing department.

Oooh, Oooh, I just had an even better idea. Let’s get rid of Tech’s co-op program. Let’s do away with C-trailer seminars too (although that’s no huge innovation). Let’s just get rid of everything that sets this school apart from others so that there will be no difference, and students will have no reason to come here. They’ll flock to NYU, to Harvard, to the University of Missouri. They need no hands-on experience with anything.

Or how about this: The film department could get its head out of the sand and take a moment to realize what they’ve done. Changing the name of the film department? Drastically reducing hands-on work? Reducing the scope of the experience in the name of technology? Sounds like a great idea.

And in years to come, when prospective students scrap their application to Northwestern because they can’t risk their future for a degree in “Cultural Media,” the film administrators can just sit around and watch movies and discuss them. Because after all, we seem to have been mistaken. Radio/Television/Film is not a film department. How could we have been so silly?– Christina PellettThen-Medill junior5/17/2000: Hands on experience important

I’m an R/TV/F graduate in Los Angeles. While I was at Northwestern, films and videos I worked on won national prizes, including a Student Emmy Award for an animation I co-wrote and directed. Our success was due largely to the hands-on training we received.Don’t take that away from future students. Theater students act, biology students experiment, and film and television students need a chance to create media-not just talk about it.

– Peter AltonSpeech ’96

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