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List of requirements for a digital story designer

The job title given in the advertisement is “digital news developer.” These are the requirements: College degree Minimum of 2 years programming experience Advanced command of HTML5, CSS, JavaScript (including jQuery) Light Ruby or Python for data mining, Web scraping Comfort with data analysis Understanding of responsive design Familiarity with Final Cut Pro and Adobe […]

10 examples of bespoke article design and scrolling goodness

Have you been noticing all the pretty sliding/scrolling articles that are popping up around the Internetz? My students think they’re wonderful, and so do I. So let’s look at a roundup of some great ones. Of course we’ll begin with Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek. This New York Times multimedia feature had the world journalism community […]

Get started with Web coding. Part 4: Software and CMSs

This post deals with two common assumptions: (1) You need to learn particular software programs (e.g. Dreamweaver) so you can make things for the Web. (2) Journalists work inside corporate content management systems (CMSs), so there’s no need for them to know Web coding. Both of those are incorrect. Let’s proceed.

Get started with Web coding. Part 3: The command line

My college roommate majored in computer science, and I majored in journalism. I’m not saying the journalists of the world have to become what she became — a systems analyst. But my roommate could (and still can) write standard English correctly, grammatically. She can communicate clearly. Her writing skills helped her rise in her profession. She wouldn’t know how to write a news story about a school board meeting, but in many situations in her jobs when writing was necessary, she could get that done quickly and well. It gave her an edge. It made her a better manager. It helped keep her projects on track.

For journalists in 2013, code starts to look more like that. Someone has even said: “In the digital age that we all live in, you are essentially illiterate if you can’t code.”

Get started with Web coding. Part 2: JavaScript and jQuery

I’m not willing to say every journalism student needs to learn JavaScript. But I believe strongly that journalists and educators and students need to understand how the Web works, and what must happen before you see something you can interact with — on a mobile phone or a tablet or a website.

So that’s how I’m going to start — with something simple and basic that you should understand.

When you see things that move or react to your clicking and typing in any Web-based story or feature or app, that’s probably JavaScript making it all happen. Only JavaScript. Even the control buttons on an audio player or a video player — now that Flash is far out of favor, even those little buttons are created with a combination of CSS and JavaScript.

Get started with Web coding. Part 1: HTML and CSS

There’s been a lot of talk about journalists learning to code, and that conversation mainly centers on programming. When we say programming, we mean the use of computer programming languages, which cause things to happen. Things happen because a user — a member of the audience — touches something or adds some information. Interaction. Programming makes things happen.

I want to write a short series of posts about coding, for journalists. That includes journalism students. And yes — it includes the journalism educators too.

Today I’m starting with something we call code, but most people would agree it is not programming. The system we use to present information on Web pages begins with HTML, a markup language that structures the content of the page.

The future, and journalism education

My university played host this weekend to several dozen journalism educators and some very wonderful working journalists. They all came to the Journalism Interactive conference to share what they know and learn new things about digital media and training the next generation of journalists. Most of our conference sessions were in the historic building in […]