I left because as much as I love journalism (it's extremely fulfilling work), the fact is that the business side of the journalism world is in terrible condition, and it didn't appear to me that there was any strong turnaround plan. Meanwhile, because of layoffs, furloughs, cuts in benefits, and more work heaped upon those who survived the cuts, morale was low.
In contrast, salary, benefits, job stability, and morale in the software development world are much higher. So I finally made the leap, and as much as I miss journalism, it was definitely the right move for my family's sake.
Now: Here's why I don't think colleges spitting out journalist-programmers is necessarily going to help journalism. If you are a half-decent programmer, your skills are going to be pretty portable, and certainly in demand elsewhere.
Why, then, would you stick it out in the journalism world while the business side of things crumbles around you, when you could be making significantly more elsewhere at a place with higher morale and more job security? I mean, yes, it's nice to feel like you're making a difference ... but you've also gotta pay the bills, right?
Why do all links on medium point inwards?
Arguments made by those who don't know better are:
1. To track clicks on outbound links
2. To preserve "pagerank" or some such think.
Neither of these are strong arguments since you can track outbound clicks with G.Analytics or any other analytics service worth using, and outbound links have about zero impact on pagerank of the linking page.
What reason could possibly be so great that you choose to break the web for it?
"break the web" is a little melodramatic though.
The situation is not much different than photojournalism. If a newsroom hasn't created a workflow that allows for streamlined editing, processing, archiving, and retrieval of photos, then even Robert Capa is going to be too swamped with shitwork to do satisfying photojournalism. The difference is that photography has had about a century to develop editorial best practices. News-programming, or whatever you want to call it, has just gotten started, at a time when the industry is too busy flailing in a downward revenue spiral to put serious thought into anything.
I wouldn't say it's completely in a downward spiral, and it's not exactly super new either. There are a lot of prominent tech sites and programming sites many that have been around for centuries. Many have gotten bigger audiences over the years I am sure it's not exactly just a "fad."
And the curriculum change she was describing did not sound very expensive to add equipment wise. It just requires new teachers with more tech skills. But you are right in the sense that any change involving technology just takes time.
Also, the author should check out the Brown Institute for Media Innovation (a joint program between Stanford Engineering and Columbia J-School).
All of these efforts to create valuable journalists will probably fail. The fact is, the business side of news has a lot going against it. The current newspaper model just isn't very viable because ad spending in newspapers continues to go down and page views can't mitigate the decline enough. Subscriptions help, but those dollars tend to flock to really important publications which offer some kind of differentiate product to an affluent client base. E.g.: the WSJ serves the business community and businesses will continue to pay for it.
That's very different from something like the Boston Globe, which doesn't offer enough value. Sure, there's local reporting, but I have a feeling that people don't care as much as you'd hope about that and as a result wont be willing to pay up for subscriptions.
You can learn programming and R to do some data viz, but it's not going to be enough to counteract the secular decline you're facing as capital exits the industry.
Honestly, I think journalism and being a journalist will be a career that eventually goes to rich people / people with other income sources than their primary job. Those are going to be the only kinds of people who can afford working for long hours and really low pay and gradually working their way up during school and afterwards with unpaid internships.
Should journalism programs require a course on "making sense of data and technology"? Yes, probably they should.
>My frustrations are with the lack of an applicable concentration that reflects the state of the news industry in 2013.
>How is it okay that journalism students are able to graduate without ever taking a real statistics or mathematics class, given the crazy demand for data journalists? Or without ever taking a programming class?
To hackers: check out . You can get a scholarship to learn journalism at one of the best schools in the nation.
Re : True. But (a) that's a grad program and (b) it's aimed at giving programmers a journalism education, not teaching journalists how to code.
Sure journalism should be more attuned to the tech world if the job market is moving that way, but if it's completely changed to be a combined program where some sort of developer or computer science skills are included then it's just extra requirements. And she was already complaining about extra requirements having to fill out the checkmarks. This is especially true of any second major nowadays.
I think the big problem with college nowadays is two-fold. The colleges dictate that certain majors have requirements based on what skills may be required to work in the field, but the students who actually know what they want to do suffer. This is because they wouldn't mind taking more classes but they want them to be "worthwhile."
For example, I'm a Marketing Major and a ISM major. I don't see how there is any overlap degree/class through the university program. This is primarily because they don't exactly even touch base when they are talking about them in classes. But to be honest I've found a lack of real material in the marketing classes. It's just rehashing of terms after the first two classes or so I have lost some interest in it.
I'm near graduation and I don't think I've learned as much as I should have through ISM to work as good as I would want to with some technology. ISM is unnecessarily too light in programming. I would take another computer science class or two if it was more "worthwhile" but being so close to graduating with all the extra requirements it seems not worth it to me at all.
However it's been good to learn about both of them. Marketing in software design and implementation helps you understand how to expand business markets and target more specific customers. It is about choosing the right product for the right audience. It is also about responding to people asking about your product with great help so that they feel like you are there for them and having retention rates for customers because it's not just the right thing to do but it also is more rewarding.
You are better off taking computer science classes at community colleges if you want to get some extra credits that show your prowess and they are not as harsh. And that is my major issue with this. Your better off filling niches/everything you really wanted to learn in community colleges because public colleges are just for show of a degree.
My advisor basically said that even graduating with two majors is not really any better than graduating with a single major. Graduating with one major is just as good if you get good grades. The job market will hire you regardless if your a double major or a single major thinking you have about the same amount of skills either way for that specific job. This is only fair, but I think employers should at least recognize that having a second major shows that they are more willing to learn.
In short maybe the broader alternative that Obama suggested that a computer science major be required is a good idea for graduation. But the problem with that is many people want to do other majors instead and those classes would have to be broken up more and delegation of them would be very confusing.
In my opinion the problem is that colleges have really become institutions where you can't just pick what you want to learn it's become much more of a requirement game over years and that only hurts students because they want to just finish the requirements and get on with life.