Friday, 7 October 2011

How techie do journalists need to be?

I noticed a fair bit of retweeting, yammering and +1-ing of Seven things you should know if you're starting out programming, a post by Jonathan Richards, a journalist who's had to learn a bit about coding. Thanks to  Simon Robinson for tweeting it in my direction.

Which begs the question, how much of a techie does a journalist these days? Well, the answer is, it depends what you want to do.

For example, if you want to play around with spreadsheets, scrape some data and produce visualisations, it might help to have an interest in some of the tools that Kevin Anderson refers to in this data journalism presentation. And knowledge of some basic coding won't do you any harm.

But for many of us it's about getting our heads around some of the simple tools such as dipity, audacity or basic video editing software. There's plenty of online guides and videos out there to help, such as the Google Maps one at the top of this post.

Of course, you still need to be able to write good stuff and supply content that grabs your readers and users. It also helps these days to be able to take simple digital images.

But, if you're not a geek, it's not a barrier - you just need to do what your good at and be willing to try new things out.

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