It’s a little bit of a cop-out, but the reason I haven’t been blogging lately is because there’s a lot going on right now that I either don’t want to talk about or can’t talk about. (That said, if you want to ask me something personally, go for it. I may hem and haw but I rarely avoid direct questions.)
My Twitter favourites and Google Reader is getting pretty backlogged though, and at first I thought about just going through and tweeting a bunch of interesting links, but maybe a short note on this will suffice.
Read this: (Research Notes) Toward a solution to the more tech in J-school problem
I’ve read or skimmed a lot of pieces, not only on the future of journalism, but on the future of journalism schools. I find it really interesting because with Mount Royal’s recent change from a college to a university, the journalism program I went through is going through some major changes. Quite honestly, I think the program it’s becoming is well-rounded and aware of skills needed today. But. While there are some things I wish I could have taken a class in (I would kill to have formal training in Illustrator, and some radio background might not be bad) I also saw what a crazy process it was to make that switch, and am kind of glad I took my degree when I did.
The debate on whether j-schools should still exist and how many applicants they should accept is a whole other argument, and one I’m not quite sure of my opinion on, but the skills thing really interests me.
I love to play. Give me a problem and point me in the direction of tools to use, and I love to be able to figure out how to embed a widget on a page, or make a workflow easier. I love learning new applications and ideas and applying them to what I do — my latest example is taking a page out of Storify‘s book and notifying people when we use their tweets in the paper. Using Storify is something I can do and use, but it’s the concept, rather than the application, I’ve borrowed, simply because I’ve been allowed time to discover.
To someone who recently asked me what I do in my spare time, I told them, no offense, but I hate that question. Maybe it’s just part of the lifestyle of a journalist, but there is always some part of my brain that is always on my job (an observation that another friend made to me a while ago). That said, sure, I do the usual things — entertainment by watching TV shows or movies, exercise by going swimming or running, enjoying basic needs like cooking. The rest of my “spare” time? I’m reading more on analytics and going through archives of pagination blogs and blogging about journalism.
I don’t know what else to do.
So yeah, journalism programs need to teach tech skills, without a doubt. But I think they also need to encourage that natural curiosity that journalists have, so that they discover and apply more technology to journalism on their own terms.