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Where to learn the tools for the online revolution?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by ouipa, Feb 9, 2008.

  1. ouipa

    ouipa Member

    So the newspaper industry is well into the online revolution. As a student getting ready to graduate, I know what some newspapers have to do to keep their heads above water (for a little while, at least). But right now, those are only ideas, and I don't have the skills to carry over into my first real job.

    I've got a little training in the most basic HTML, but I've never worked with a WYSIWYG editor, and I don't know much about online design. Where would I learn the tools necessary to help a publication as it moves into the online realm? Schooling is an option, but I'm almost out of school now, and I'd have to take part-time classes for something like that.

    Sometimes I feel good when I go into an interview and say, "Well, I saw you guys' website and I think you could really benefit from doing X, Y and Z." But at the same time, I think to myself, "But they probably don't have the resources or personnel to do X, Y and Z, and I certainly can't help them do that right now." I don't want to be in that position anymore.
  2. spaceman

    spaceman Active Member

    Knowing the tool sets is WAY overrated. So many different shops have proprietary tools that what works in one place won't matter in another. And they all change a few years from now anyhow.

    Guess what doesn't change? Guess what will remain in demand?

    Being able to think. Being able to communicate. Being able to spell.

    Work on that. The rest you can learn in a couple of weeks on the job.
  3. FileNotFound

    FileNotFound Well-Known Member

    What he said. What you have to learn for online is much more mindset and much less tool-based.

    The basics still count.
  4. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    Wait a fucking minute! There's an online revolution?
    Damnit! I'm always last to know.
  5. awriter

    awriter Active Member

    I'll just back up the other posts. Learn how to report, write, edit and design first. Quick question: Where did many of the editors and writers at espn.com or sportsline come from? Print.
  6. This thread title is the closest thing to a Poynter seminar panel in the history of this site.
  7. Diabeetus

    Diabeetus Active Member

    I think what ouipa might have intended the thread to direct him/her to a source to pick up some of the stuff that would be useful in the meantime. I've picked up some good tips from blogs on blogspot, but I'd be curious about good places to learn stuff, too.
  8. awriter

    awriter Active Member

    We understood the question. The point is someone coming out of college should focus on the basics of journalism and not be too worried about the technical aspects of running a Web site.
  9. Diabeetus

    Diabeetus Active Member

    That's understandable. But if ouipa (or others) wanted to learn these things, where would he/she go?
  10. BRoth

    BRoth Member

    I agree, but I think now more than ever the more someone knows in regard to working on a Web site, shooting video or creating podcasts is not going to hurt them at all. There's no question you need to be solid in fundamentals and the important aspects of journalism, but it's no reason to ignore the things that are more and more important every day in the profession.
  11. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    If you can edit well, know AP style and HTML and can write if you have to, you will be fine.

    Leave the web design for the people who went to school to get one of those fancy techy degrees.
  12. ouipa

    ouipa Member

    I completely understand that the basics are the most important thing a journalist needs to know in order to be good at his or her craft. After all, what good is blogging and webcasting if you can't get your facts straight or sources in order?

    But I would still think learning the tools of the web would help any professional looking to take that next step stand out in the employer's mind. Even if the basics haven't been completely perfected yet, having an extra tool that others don't have is invaluable, wouldn't you think?

    And to say you can learn the tools on the job, what if no one at the paper knows enough to teach you? What if you want to go in and help trigger a move to the web instead of just bing another face in the crowd?

    When I said I knew the most basic HTML, I mean I know how to link to sites and place images. That's about it. The online journalism class I took a year and a half ago was a total waste of time. All the prof did was send us to blogger and tell us to blog while teaching us one or two things along the way that could help us. I learned a few things, but there were so many other things I wanted to know that he never even touched on.
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