Journalists Writing Code

27 05 2008

When I talk about media changing, it’s items like this that reinforce that ideology completely.

It’s now been almost exactly a year since we announced (thanks to a Knight News Challenge grant) that programmer-developers could earn full scholarships to study journalism in the master’s program at the Medill School at Northwestern University. We’ve got plenty of scholarship money still available — but we have not been overwhelmed with applications.

Here’s where we stand: Two scholarship winners are now almost midway through their Medill studies. A third candidate will enroll next month. And we still have the equivalent of six full scholarships yet to award.

It’s important to remember the tools of journalism are evolving into new things many of us old-timers did not consider even five years ago. I honestly believe that journalists are going to have to learn how to write code.

And I’m trying to figure it out myself as well.




3 responses

27 05 2008

Which language should we teach journalist? HTML or LaTeX or a new language with journalist in mind? After we’ve selected a language, there is no guarantee that this language still be around in five years. I worry about teaching someone technology that won’t have future support.

In that article, they are looking for coders to learn journalism, as if that will be easier than finding journalist willing to learn how to code. I like the comments in that thread about computer nerds doing journalism.

27 05 2008

I do too. I don’t know the answer pshaw but I’m trying to keep up with that there are changes.
And, sadly, the only LaTeX I know is sold in unseemly stores.

27 05 2008
lovable liberal

Hardly any computer nerds (other than me!) can write clear English. It might be better to cross-train in the other direction. Of course, from a jobs standpoint, both are in trouble.

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