More than that — I'm intrigued by Medill's grant to take coders and turn them into journalists.
But I'm also a little bitter. Yes, Mr. California Sunshine, Digidave, is a little bitter.
Where's the grant to teach journalists how to code?
There's a lot of talk about changing the way we teach journalism.
This is a step in the right direction, but it also sends a stement to journalism students. There are two skill sets in this equation: journalism and coding.
Both are needed in the new media landscape. But rather than create a
program/grant to teach reporters how to code (people who are already
motivated and interested by the end goal of journalism), a grant is
created to show those with coding skills how to do journalism. The
statement I get from this: It's easier to teach journalism than it is
to teach coding.
But in the end – I still believe it comes down to motivation. Journalists need to learn how to code — and there are a lot like me that want to learn, but don't have the time (or the money to get that time).
Ryan Sholin from what I know, was a journalist turned coder. In fact, Adrian Holovaty, the poster boy of geek reporters, was a journalist who learned coding second. So it's obviously possible.
I'm dying over here! I'm 25, maybe I'm beyond learning Spanish — but I know I could learn how to code. I have to much of a yearning — If given the chance I wouldn't give up on that (Spanish on the other, Yo no understand-o…sorry).
Until I learn to code in PHP, Django, Ruby on Rails or some other programming language, I won't be happy. Nor will I reach my full potential. I am convinced the only thing holding me back from organizing the type
of web based network journalism I want to do is my lack of coding
Which means I either need money to hire a coder that will obey my every command, or a sponsor so I can take a few months/classes to teach myself how to code (which I'd prefer, because I'm a work-a-holic and no coder, I think, would ever be willing to keep up with my every command).
I learned these skills in the last year:
Design: (InDesign, Photoshop), Video (Final Cut Pro), Audio (Pro-Tools, Garage Band), I'm moderate at Flash, and I got advanced html down pat. I learned the CMS Drupal inside and out in the last few months — well everything except the freak'n coding of course.
I was a philosophy major in college — so I took logic (which I'm told pre-disposes one to coding).
So where's my angel grant? Is there even a grant that I can apply to? Anybody want to sponsor a young, born-on-the-net journalist while he learns how to code in one of the following (if not all): PHP, DJango or Ruby on Rails?
Maybe you'd want to talk with me, make sure I'm worth the investment — that's fine. I got credentials, recommendations, a history to prove I work hard. So where's the grant to teach journalists how to really geek out? I love the fact that there is a grant for geeks to get some journalism chops, but I would love it (and I'd apply in an instant) if there was a program to do the reverse.
For thoughts from another disgruntled young journalist: The Editorialiste