The New Journalism Toolbox: Skills vs. Knowledge

Well rounded experience is more important than formal education.

Use equipment – camera, video camera, passport – and tell stories. Be a storyteller – simplistic is not “dumbed down” – simplistic draws common references and resonates with people.

Don’t be afraid of technology – basic skills are a requirement.  Everyone must maintain a learning curve, ready to utilize tools in the changing environment. Single platform jobs (writing or radio ONLY) don’t exist anymore, journalists must have multi-platform capabilities.

The ability to use multiple tools is the same as being bilingual.

University graduates may go higher in organizations, but don’t have the skills straight off the bat. Stronger technical skills are preferred over storytelling finesse by some employers, the opposite is true for others.

In the scramble for mainstream organizations to go online, there hasn’t been any discussion regarding the rationales for using those tools (blogs, twitter, facebook.)

There are two camps – those are completely dismiss the technology, and those who are completely addicted to it. There is some information not appropriate for the platform, and being selective about where you disseminate certain information that is relevant to your different audiences.

Schools don’t teach flexibility – work is focused on being driven for either print or online or radio.

Centennial College is changing the curriculum to be an online news content organization put together as one integrated force effective September.


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