Journalism is a subject that entails learning a wide range of useful communication and technical skills. It also involves understanding the processes of political participation central to democratic processes. It would contribute hugely to a school education because it opens up a world of opportunities to learn independently.

This might all be true, but does that mean every sixth-former should be forced into it? Can schools afford to provide this kind of specialist training?

Yes

No

Subjectivity

I take this point. Perhaps I am being too heavily influenced by my experience of school where this was not the case. Certainly nothing was assessed collectively.

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These aren't unique to journalism

The skills you mention are needed in lots of disciplines, not just journalism. What you are really asking for is a course in "research skills".

As it happens, such courses already exist in schools, and at GCSE level even. They aren't compulsory, mind you, but they aren't packaged up and targeted at any particular discipline. They are generic, as they should be.

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So do lots of other subjects

Online and offline research skills, communication and collaboration are fundamental elements of many A-level courses, not just online journalism. Online journalism should not be forced on teenagers who would prefer to learn those skills in other ways that would be more useful in their careers - or who would prefer to learn other technical or vocational skills instead.

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