Multimedia Journalist: statistician and computer nerd?
Multimedia journalists: expected to be film makers, radio reporters, photographers, interviewers, web designers, independent researchers, graphic designers, idea generators, legal eagles not to mention just your average text-hack.
But I got two more to add to the list now-statistician and computer programmer. Why? Well look at this brilliant piece of interactive journalism by Grace Koerber at the University of Carolina (Hat tip: Innovative Interactivity)
Click on the picture, go to the site and play with it yourself.
Writing on Innovative Interactivity, Grace says:
Completing this interactive took somewhere around 120 hours. A lot of this time was spent learning how to use Flash’s drawing API and use PHP to communicate between Flash and a MySQL database, both of which I had never done before. The amount of research was also particularly time-consuming.
Could the image of a street savvy, scruffy alcoholic hack bashing away at a typewriter be replaced with a street savvy, scruffy, alcoholic computer geek bashing away at XML?
Journalism students at UNC are actually taught things like XML and MySQL; these extra skills make them hugely more versatile, hugely more valuable to employers – and preparing them for a brand new way of story telling.