Tuesday, June 9, 2009

the digerati come to j.school

Can geeks save journalism? Andrea Ragni forwards this time.com piece by Matt Villano, who poses this very question. He writes about several j-school programs that throw journalists and programmers into the same pot to see what they they cook up. The idea is to teach reporting to techies so that, possibly, they can engineer the solutions that so far have eluded the rest of us.

Interesting concept. Andrea wants to know what you think.

From Villano's piece:
Programmers and journalists may seem like strange bedfellows; many criticize the Internet for the layoffs, buyouts and bleeding bottom lines that characterize the news business today. But, as emphasized by a report released last month by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the World Association of Newspapers, traditional news outlets must "cross the digital abyss" if they wish to survive. The problem, of course, is scraping together the capital to invest in new technologies.

These kinds of forecasts prompted Rich Gordon, director of digital innovation at Medill, to convince the Knight Foundation in 2007 to start funding the new curriculum. Recognizing that traditional news platforms are struggling to keep content relevant online, Gordon, the former new-media director for the Miami Herald Publishing Co., approached the problem a different way. "Instead of media organizations always playing catch-up, the objective should be for them to incorporate data in new and different ways from the very beginning," Gordon says, noting that, in addition to Digg, websites such as ProPublica, EveryBlock and PolitiFact have achieved this goal successfully. "It makes perfect sense to have programmers involved with this effort from the very beginning." (See the 50 best websites of 2008.)

1 comment:

Jack said...

I fully agree with the Time assessment. :)