We discussed a remarkable phenomenon in public-relations firms, newsrooms, and many other media and nonmedia companies and institutions that employ communication professionals: reverse mentoring. Simply put, the senior people in the office, for the first time, are seeing young people as resources of information and even tutors who possess new and original skill sets, especially in social media. But has the academy? We all know that the promotion and tenure system has many components of the medieval guild system of apprenticeship. The nomenclature itself bespeaks a top-down system of mentoring: assistant, associate, junior, probationary.
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