Sunday, 29 August 2010

New York Times branches out into higher education?

Is this something new? In today's Sunday New York Times (the print edition) there is a section dedicated to the "New York Times Knowledge Network". This Network seems to be a partnership between the Times and a number of higher education institutions, offering courses both for-credit and not, certificate programs, and something called "NYT Programs of Study". These last are, according to the NYT Knowledge Network website, "Programs of Study courses, on various topics,... developed and are taught by Times journalists. Students can select any number of these courses: to stand alone, or be taken as a sequence. Each course is a four-week module, taught by New York Times journalists and delivered online."
The website lists courses of study in a whole variety of subject areas including Law: 2 courses in legal writing (in conjunction with Thomas Edison State College) called "Effective Advocacy through Legal Writing" and "The Tao of Legal Writing";  a course in Health Care Law.   A certificate program in Immigration Law is offered in a partnership with City University of New York and includes several immigration law courses for which you apparently pay the standard CUNY per-credit cost.  There's a course in "Journalism Law for Bloggers" (costs $175.00) which " will teach you the fundamentals of media law, including special concerns that apply to online journalists and bloggers. One of the most experienced lawyers at The New York Times will guide you through the standard definition of libel law (plus specific exceptions), the standards of proof and how they are applied, as well as various libel defenses. "
All the courses are online, though some offer a "face to face" version.  This is all very interesting; by offering reasonably priced educational programs the New York Times is tapping into the expertise of its journalists and perhaps seeing a new way forward for the declining newspaper business.

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