Charles Arthur, who follows tech at The Guardian, urges up-and-coming journalists to learn how to code. I think it’s an excellent point. The idea isn’t to become a software whiz, but to gain familiarity with the tools and the thinking.
We don’t have a clear view of the future of journalism, but we can make a pretty good bet that it’ll have lots of code in it. Rank outsiders to that world (sadly including me) simply have to accept the tools we’re given. But a techno-journalist can fine tune an application or create a mash-up that provides journalistic insight. These people will be valuable. They already are. And in a profession like this one, that’s no small thing. (Here’s a related post on my TheNumerati.net blog.)