Posted in Education, Equipment, journalism, multimedia journalist, Technology

Networked Blog: Digital Media Skills Every Young Journalist Needs

By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF co-chair, Online Managing Editor-Business Aviation, Aviation Week Group

I have almost two dozen journalism-related blogs on my Google Reader.  One of my regular reads is the Networked blog, written by the  Society of Professional Journalists Digital Media Committee (DMC).  A description of the blog reads: to help news professionals wanting to learn more — in a hurry — about technology.

Writer Jennifer Peebles, deputy editor at Texas Watchdog, wrote a Networked post March 9 (yes, I’m a bit behind) entitled “Digital media skills every young journalist needs.”  She offered a list of core skills, along with nine skills every undergraduate of every journalism school in America should be able to do:

1. Write a basic breaking news story in the inverted pyramid.

2. Be able to record the audio of an interview with someone, do a simple edit on the audio recording of that interview and upload it to the Web for an audience to hear.

3. Be able to take a decent photograph, even if it’s with their cellphone camera.

4. Be able to make at least a short video story that doesn’t turn out looking like the Blair Witch Project.

5. Be able to perform basic functions in a spreadsheet and have at least a general understanding of how journalists use data to find stories.

6. Have an understanding of HTML and CSS and understand how they’re used to make Web pages.

7. Be able to decide which platform best suits a given story.

8. Understand the basic concepts of libel and defamation and understand that these aren’t old-fashioned concepts that only apply to us geezers who worked for newspapers.

9. Understand the basic concepts of the First Amendment, freedom of the press and the people’s right to know, which everything we do is built on.

Looking at her list, I’m wondering if it should pertain just to young journalists.  I’m the proverbial old dog learning new tricks, and I feel that all nine of her suggestions should be in my repertoire.  And I’m proud to say I can do eight of the nine suggestions (I’m only missing HTML/CSS, but it’s on the list of things to do).

So I ask you — is this list complete? What would you add? How many of the items on Peebles’ list can you do?



Home of the National Association of Black Journalists's (NABJ's) Digital Journalism Task Force

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