Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Should a journalist learn programming?

Ah, that's a crucial question, isn't it. Digital blogger Martin Belam (who you might want to follow) is tackling that question with two recent posts (one and two). Belam, who describes himself as "an Internet consultant, information architect and writer based in London" and works for the Guardian, thinks not, although some knowledge is helpful.

He offers some examples of how knowing a little HTML helps in doing some of the routine tasks of Internet posting. But it's clear from reading his posts that these are helpful shortcuts, but not essential. He suggests that thinking like a programmer is much more helpful than actually programming. In terms of curriculum, we're on the right track by emphasizing content, not programming (although we should be identifying options for those students who want programing).

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