As many of you know, I have been thinking about this idea of programmer/journalist or journalist/developer or techno-journalist for quite some time. I’m even applying for a Knight News Challenge Grant to move things forward at TX State in this area. Regardless of whether we get this grant or not, this is the direction I want to push us in. I think there is a great opportunity to carve a strong niche in this field.
I’ve been gathering up some resources around the Web:
Mindy McAdams, Knight Chair at Univ. of Florida, has some good posts on her blog:
- Data Visualizations
- Why You Should Learn to Love Data – this is a great one, Matt Waite visited with her students.
- When to Choose Data Over Stories – a follow up to the one above
Some of the Media Shift articles written by Rich Gordon about their experience at Medill with having programmers in the Journalism Master’s program.
Rich’s most recent post deals with Agile development and journalism – some very astute observations here.
Amy Gahran has some good observations in response as well. But, I feel that there is a subset of journalists that get turned on by the geeky stuff. We need to engage them.
The Medill team’s blog, known as Crunchberry. They’ve done a fantastic job documenting their processes for creating data-driven news presentations.
Like many out there, I’m torn as to which framework I should teach. I am reviewing Ruby on Rails vs. Django. I took a Ruby class at ONA this past September, so I am leaning in that direction, but I am in the process of trying both. Here are some resources for this topic:
DjangoBook.com – free book by Adrian Holovaty and Jacob Kaplan-Moss
IRE.org (Investigative Reporters and Editors) – has some great seminars
Presentation on Database-driven Journalism – Lawrence Journal World
Holovaty and Saila – presentation at Web Directions, Old Media, New Technology
And, I plan to spend quite a bit of my Christmas vacation on Lynda.com. This is really fun stuff, and a very fruitful area for both practice and research. I know from experience that if journalism students have the proper instruction, they get energized by this type of work. Technology is about communication and communication is about technology. That’s what it’s all about these days.
More discussion and resources to come on this.