Last week, Shel Holtz delivered a keynote talk to the faculty of a university Journalism department. He went out onto Twitter for some ideas and put together a really impressive list. I believe that these skills have a much broader application than simply for Journalists…
Whatever those jobs are, journalism students will be better equipped to qualify for them if they have learned the following as part of their education:
* SEO—Most of what I remember about writing a basic news article is consistent with the principles of on-page optimization, but the importance of writing so people can find your articles shouldn’t be underestimated. It’s particularly important since students in journalism classes today don’t have a clue whether they’ll be working for a centralized news organization or some kind of distributed network. This synchs nicely with my next point:
* How to think like a freelancer—With nobody certain what economic model or (more likely) combination of models will pan out for professional news, journalism departments need to instill a mindset in students that will allow them to tap into whatever opportunities arise. That’s quite a shift from the view of professors when I was in journalism school: If it’s not a daily newspaper, major newsmagazine or network TV news channel, it’s not journalism.
* Flexibility—Print, broadcast, radio, online…journalists had better be prepared to report anywhere. When I worked in journalism, I was a print reporter with no interest in electronic journalism, which was a whole different ballgame. Those lines are gone and today’s students need to be prepared to do it all.
* A continuum of reporting—When I was a reporter, I filed a single story following on-site reporting of news or research for an investigative piece. Today, a single report is inadequate. Read more >>
What other applications could these skills have? Discuss in the comments.
(Image credit: Courtesy of Indiana University.)