In debates surrounding the role of universities in teaching journalism, a range of critical voices have stressed the importance of moving beyond the limiting frame of an assumed 'industry-academic dichotomy', while some also point to the structural forces that underpin the persistence of this frame. A consideration of such factors suggests that, while this critical move may be laudable, enacting such a shift in practice is likely to require more than simply good intentions or critical moralism. To this end, this article argues for an approach that considers how both educational and media institutions may be defined as key sites in the production of both journalists and audiences as 'public subjects'. Such a framework, it is argued, supports a more critical analysis of the role played by industry, practitioners and universities as active stakeholders in formations of journalistic professionalism, and the manner each are being impacted by trends toward 'professionalization'. Copyright © 2008 SAGE Publications.