The Future of Print

Can Computer Nerds Save Journalism?

Posted in Boom by futureofprint on June 9, 2009

A cadre of newly minted media whiz kids, who mix high-tech savvy with hard-nosed reporting skills, are taking a closer look at ways in which 21st century code-crunching and old-fashioned reporting can not only coexist but also thrive. And the first batch of them has just emerged from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. See 10 ways your job will change.

They’ve just completed a new master’s program at Medill — with scholarships from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation — aimed at training programmers in basic journalism so they can better understand how technology is impacting the industry and trying to engineer change down the road. Medill isn’t the only higher-education institution blending computer programming and journalism; at other schools such as the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of California, Berkeley, traditional J-school programs are incorporating a dose of tech-thumping. Spurred by the success of content-driven websites such as Digg, which creates a front page of news stories based on what readers deem most popular each day, the brains behind these new programs are trying to capitalize on ways in which sophisticated programming can make the delivery of news more accessible.

Via Time

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