What technology skills should the modern journalist have? Earlier in the year Tony Johnston, of the Press Association, gave a talk online for a “Teachshare” session for Vital. It was fascinating, and a few things stood out for me:
- In days gone by, speed was just as important as it is today. Photos were dropped from a plane and collected by a cyclist!
- Trainee journalists are taught how to use social media for news.
- There is an expectation that news staff will be ulti-skilled, ie able to tell a story in text, pictures and video.
- A reported these days will be equipped with a camera and video camera, or a phone capable of being used for both.
- And for those who decry the teaching of spreadsheets in favour of more “creative” applications, there was the possibly unwelcome news that journalists are expected to be able to interpret figures and tables too.
In other words, today's journalist is expected to be someone who can not only write well, but take photos, shoot video, and interpret data. I tried to get across something of this (though I missed the data part out) in a slideshow I created in 2008, which I’ve embedded below.
Listen to the Tony Johnston session. It starts properly at around 37 minutes, so drag the timeline pointer to that point. Follow the chat room too.