Programming for Journalism Students

Knowing how to access, filter and condense information from vast electronic resources are the skills needed by modern journalism students. The extent to which these skills can be achieved without a deeper technical understanding of the data sources, communications links and the data processing is problematic. I would suspect that comprehending data representation and search, communicating that data and presenting or storing processed data are essential. With this goes knowledge of programming or at least scripting for the glue code and personalization mechanisms.

It is good to see that the eminent publisher, Tim O’Reilly, also agrees with this. In one of his latest blog posts he quotes Adrian Holovaty who gives a talk entitled ‘Journalism through Computer Programming’. Tim paraphrases Adrian: ‘In the new world of network-enabled information gathering and dissemination, programming is as critical a skill as writing and photography’. Maybe we should be teaching Bond’s journalism students some programming?

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About Michael Rees
Academic in IT interested in Web 2.0 and social media

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