Posted in Education, journalism, multimedia journalist

Should Journalists Go Wide Instead Of Deep When It Comes To Mastering Skills?

By Benét J. Wilson, chair, NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force & social media/newsletters editor, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association

As part of a Nieman Lab series called “Back To School: The Evolution of Journalism Education, Bill Grueskin, dean of academic affairs for Columbia University’s journalism school surmised the following — news orgs want journalists who are great at a few things, rather than good at many.

As a journalist who wants to keep up with the latest tools and technology, sometimes I find my head spinning as I try to decide what I should — and shouldn’t — spend my time learning.  Editors are telling us we need to do more with less.

When I started my career, all I needed was a notepad and pen.  I typed (yes, with a typewriter) my story, gave it to the editor and went on to the next story. These days, I not only have to write the story, but I also need: write a companion blog post; shoot photos and video; and post to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (I’ve given up on Google+).

But what I feel is missing is an emphasis on the original skills I learned all those years ago at American University’s School of Communications: writing, editing and reporting compelling stories.  While it’s grand to have all the multimedia tools (don’t get me wrong — I love them), they mean nothing if you can’t write.

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

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