Yesterday my parents, Anita and I attended our younger daughter Rubina's graduation from the Columbia School of Journalism. Amidst the fun and revelry I found almost all of Rubina's classmates that we met to be remarkably pleasant and friendly. They were bright as I expected of Columbia students, and (from all the hugs enthusiastic hugs exchanged) had warm family ties.
Columbia may have done a good job profiling and selecting the right people into the program but is there also a self-selection dynamic at work here? Journalism is typically a tough career with lousy pay. So it may attract people for whom money is less important, and have a sense of idealism or a passion for sharing their news and views. So could such profession/schools attract more of the "nicer" types? This is analogous to the Anita's belief that school teachers tend to be nice people. Not that all journalists or media are ethical or objective by a long shot. Think Fox News. While in public service in India I saw a couple from The Indian Express (one of whom's now a bureau chief) who concocted news to make sensational headlines and try extorting favors.
So I do have some concerns about the type and nature of media coverage. But at least these graduating students show that many people of good caliber and outlook are entering and sustaining the profession in the US and abroad.
Here are some pictures of the graduation and related events (click left for more.) I'm glad my parents could attend this graduation ceremony - their first in the US. Rubina's in most of them, with a couple of our family (sans Sheena who is in Austin.)