Thursday, April 8, 2010
Will Columbia-Trained, Code-Savvy Journalists Bridge the Media/Tech Divide?
Journalism schools have frantically updated their programs in the last decade or so, as it became increasingly clear that traditional, newspaper-oriented skills were no longer enough to prepare students for the real world. But even fluency in broadly defined “multimedia skills” isn’t enough, with coding becoming as crucial to the news business as knowing how to use a computer was a couple of generations ago.
The Columbia program, which will accept its first 15 students (tops) in the Fall of 2011, seeks to attack the barrier between journalists and the increasingly important IT professionals whose web and digital savvy are crucial to any form of news gathering, reporting and delivery. The problem: Users really don’t know what to ask developers for (or how), and developers have no real idea what their software will need to do in the hands of the users.
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