The University of Texas conducted an interesting experiment recently, bringing journalism students and students of computer science together to create journalism-related apps and get them into the iPhone App store.
It reminds me a bit of the Hack Day activities that we used to run at Sky, where different people from around the business would be brought together to devise and build new products. They were always a lot of fun and unleashed a lot of creativity.
Key quote in the piece from the judge from the Texas Tribune: “A successful applicant to our organization cannot survive on writing alone. He must at least be able to collaborate with technologists — be they app developers, data journalists or programmers.”
And another from the associate director of the journalism school involved: “Journalists and computer scientists are carrying similar tool boxes these days so we’re trying to learn each other’s language,”
Tech skills – or at the very least the ability to collaborate with people who have those skills – are fast becoming core requirements for a career in journalism.