Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Checklist for Modern Journalists

Feeling ambitious this summer? Now is as good a time as any to develop the skills you will need to be a better journalist. Or to break into the business if you're just out of college or soon to be looking for a job in the media.

10,000 Words has compiled a list of 30 things a new journalism grad should do this summer to make her/himself more marketable. Actually, this is a great list for any journalist who wants to thrive in the new media. Some of the more interesting and challenging tasks on the list include:
5. Become a part of a crowdsourcing project

6. Improve at least 5 Wikipedia entries

10. Create and maintain a Delicious account with at least 50 links that you find interesting

16. Learn another programming language besides HTML (e.g. XML, PHP, MySQL)

17. Create an avatar and use it on all your social networking profiles

22. Interview 10 people using a video camera

23. Create a map mashup using a CSV file
If this seems daunting, then write up No. 30 and tape it to your computer: Remind yourself why you want to be a journalist.

For more, see "The New Visual Journalist" on Mindy McAdams' blog, Teaching Online Journalism. Among those she interviews is Colin Mulvany, a photojournalist/multimedia producer at The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Wash. As he notes:
“I firmly believe there will be no more just reporters or just photographers. We all need to have crossover skills. The Web demands it.”

Photo credit: "Creative Commons Creativity Poster" by maven, courtesy of

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