The University of Nebraska's journalism school will begin requiring all incoming students to take a grammar placement test and a new 100-level class on good writing.
Kudos to them. I've seen a lot of young reporters — in college and out — with abysmal grammar skills. I know high schools are teaching less grammar these days. (Hell, I haven't had a grammar class since eighth grade.) But for people going into communications, that oversight is inexcusable.
And newspaper managers are noticing. I've heard several say they've seen a significant drop in ablity recently, one they're blaming on increased focus on convergence and less time spent on the basics.
No matter what the reason, you shouldn't be able to get a degree in journalism without knowing simple grammar and how it is applied at a newspaper.
The j-school's move is a good one, and I hope other schools follow suit.