Heck, I know people who studied “quantitative Political Science” and who ended up doing basic programming for their data analysis. In short, the video opens with a quote by Steve Jobs: I think everybody in this country should learn … Three years ago, my boss asked me to head up the then non-existent data journalism unit at the Times.I'd not written a line of code in my life. The medium of print has moved beyond ink and parchment into a digital world as complicated as the one inhabited by broadcast journalists, video game designers, Hollywood directors and Silicon Valley hackers. It is not that they should all turn into software engineers. Look, I’m going to come at this discussion from a peculiar place. ethical problems you will face as a journalist. Quite recently, a whole bunch of leftist journalists got downsized at esteemed news organizations such as Huffington Post or BuzzFeed. Knowing how to code is extraordinarily powerful today. I didn’t want to learn it. You are Ben Franklin with a creaky printing press that takes hours to rebuild each page and the plate gets your hands dirty and the paper smudges and type cracks, and, yet, you have a thing at the end of the night, for the world to see. More seriously, programming skills and knowledge enable us traditional journalists to tell better and more engaging stories. It’s a whole generation of kids that will use code like our generation used words.” How can I learn to code? While they arrogantly wrote articles in the past, suggesting that laid-off miners or manufacturing workers should “learn to code”, they now got the same advice. This is why Twitter is 100% right to censor the free speech of anyone who … They were breaking down the barriers between code, data and design. Instead, the issue is that writing a simple program forces you think logically. Why every new journalist should learn how to code, no matter how hard. So it was okay for Democrats and the liberal media to tell unemployed coal miners to learn to code, but it’s not okay to tell unemployed journalists … Yes, the thing that plays your browser videos. This doesn’t make the scientist a statistician, and it doesn’t make the engineer a writer: it simply makes both of them better at their jobs. Here are 8 reasons why coding is important to learn for kids: Programming helps children learn to problem-solve. Twitter quickly declared the phrase “learn to code” to be hate speech. The code should be read as a whole; individual principles should not be taken out of context. Learning to code, regardless of the path a child chooses to take, is crucial today. Here, two self-taught coders explain why millennials, or really anyone, should learn how to code. So the only way to know what’s possible is to be able to get in there with your own hands and massage the digital heart to life. They might not have to ever build a website, but they might have to learn how healthcare.gov works. Among … Should journalists learn to code – image by David Holmes Code is a key infrastructure that we work in as journalists: if we understand it, we can move across it much more effectively. From my perspective, mainstream journalists are a bunch of unprincipled keyboard mercenaries of, at best, average intelligence that are much more interested in pushing their failed socialist ideologies than anything else. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. It’s self defense. An analogy: In the world of print, it’s ultimately not the art director or the production manager who approves the final layout of the pages before they go to print, even though they or their minions are the ones moving pixels around the page. A journalist should learn some programming for the same reason that a scientist should learn some statistics and an engineer should learn to write. Minimize Harm So far, so good. But the concepts that basic coding ability exposed me to were invaluable. Furthermore, ethical journalists should strive to be as open and transparent as possible, making clear in a story who their sources are and why they're credible. In contrast, writing an article has no such safeguards. "Learn to Code" is an expression used to mock journalists who were laid off from their jobs, encouraging them to learn software development as an alternate career path. They might not have to spin up a server, but they might want to understand how Amazon makes money on its cloud service. This should include issues journalists have faced for decades, including use of confidential sources, covering crime victims, and publishing “private” … Wide Range of Knowledge. The line between learning to code and getting paid to program as a profession is not an easy line to cross. excellent books, the latest of which is Meditation Without Bullshit, Little People: Linguistic and Sociological Reflections on the Slave Mentality of Vegetarians and Vegans, The Psychological Importance of a Marginal Income Tax of 50% or More, High Verbal Intelligence Makes You Stupid, Cognitive Decline Among the Elite: Colonialism vs. Modern Empire Building, Democracy and Diversity Signal the End of U.S. Soft Power, One Black Man Down, and Covid-19 is No Longer an Issue, Poor Use of Language as an Indicator of Widespread Intellectual Decline, Remarks on Arthur Bryant’s Unfinished Victory (1940), Covid-19 Marks the Indisputable Beginning of Chinese Hegemony, Manufacturing the Success of Corona-Chan: The Economics of Clickbait and Panic-mongering of the Mainstream Media, A skeptic’s view on No Fap and Taoist semen retention, The Past, Present, and Future of the Covid-19 PsyOps Operation. What I took from my experience was this: If you want to be a reporter, learning code will not help. Those journalists then got a taste of their own medicine. Aaron is available for one-on-one consultation sessions if you want honest advice. I deleted a bunch of tags that had inline styles that were messing up a template I was trying to work with. Cloud Hosting. Why Data Journalists Learn Python May 1, 2020 1 min read Melissa Lewis is a data reporter for Reveal , a Python teacher, the organizer of PyLadies Portland and the Portland chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association. Why all our kids should be taught how to code There is a growing consensus that the way children in schools are being taught information technology is in need of a radical overhaul. Therefore, if/when there is an important journalism ethics issue in the news, I’ll consider it fair game for inclusion in the semi-weekly/weekly quiz. So I didn’t. It can’t be the case that we both need more workers because we don’t have enough kids and also need a UBI because there is no longer enough work available. Today code is once again a beautiful and powerful thing, and people can really do incredible stuff in not a lot of time at all. The code is “screw you ill-educated, pompous leeches who laughed at people who actually work for a living when they lost their jobs and we hope to see you riding the back of that garbage truck … I used, mostly, PHP, VBScript (which is the code in all those .asp pages you used to see everywhere), a bunch of SQL flavors, all of the HTML, some of the CSS, and a smattering of Javascript. Trust me. To draw a parallel to the last paragraph: are we running out of work or not? Like business, because the media are major industries and are inextricably involved in commerce. The first thing many broadcast journalist students learn to do is set up a camera shot by themselves, and the next thing they learn to do is edit their footage into a coherent piece of storytelling. Lastly, donations for the upkeep of this site are highly welcome. Excellent! “Our kids should learn to bend, join, break and combine code in a way it wasn’t designed to. The first is that because white people do not have enough babies, we need immigrants to replenish our workforce. The big flaw of this article is that I assume that journalists have an interest in promoting the truth. He should have a wide range of interests and must be eager to learn about people, places and events. But in the digital world, there’s no such thing as closing a page before it ships. The level of coding I am talking about — truth values (booleans) and conditional branching — is basically what you learn in the first one or two lectures in an introductory course, the kind you have to go through in basically any technical degree there is. Read also: Why You Should Write a Blog About Learning Coding. And that’s where I’ll grant Olga Khazan some sympathy. So, I’m sorry, but Ms. Khazan, is wrong about journalists not needing to know how to code. ‘Everybody’ Does Not Need to Learn to Code, What Scott Galloway Wants Us to Know About Happiness, The Stories From Elsewhere That Made Us Smarter About Business, Warby Parker, Glossier, and Dollar Shave Club, Shared Hosting vs. VPS Hosting vs. vs. Even if they learned to code, they’d still probably have the same political penchants. That is decidedly not the case. That’s not just because if they manage to find a TV job they will likely be working for peanuts at a strapped local station without any production help. Paul Smalera. Even though I am thrilled I am now a journalist who has had the privilege of working with and for some of the best people and companies in media, I regret letting my coding skills atrophy. Like literature, because the media require us to learn and use critical thinking skills. As both a female leader in technology … As Chase Felker writes in “‘Everybody’ Does Not Need to Learn to Code,” a scientist learns to write scripts to extract data relevant to her job: “She doesn’t just ‘learn Python.’” What is probably missing for Khazan and many students is the idea of applied, practical coding lessons using modern technologies, relevant to their chosen profession. On that note, in 2015, German journalists claimed for weeks that those “academics” from the Middle East and North Africa were better educated than the local population, ignoring that the vast majority of those immigrants is illiterate. Sigma Delta Chi's first Code of Ethics was … But whether she learned it in 2013 or 2009 or 2006, the fact that she mentions “basic Flash” as part of her curriculum tells me that the fault lies not only in herself but in her curriculum. If you are working with data, R is a fantastic language to learn. Coding at that basic level is a skill that is quickly becoming indispensable in white-collar jobs. Rather, what’s possible is constrained not by what you see on paper, but by your (and your coder’s) imagination and capabilities on the screen, which is like moving from two dimensions to three. For that, you need to have an IQ of about 110. This subset of media ethics is known as journalism's professional "code of ethics" and the "canons of journalism". And I had another career on the brain, so I went after that. You can of course write nonsensical programs, but you will get nonsensical output as a response. Yes, journalists should learn how to program. There’s an idea that’s been gaining ground in the tech community lately: Everyone should learn to code. Required fields are marked *. From 1998 to 2006, I was a web developer and designer. Hearing the phrase “learn to code” is harmful to one’s mental health and can cause instant trauma upon hearing it or reading it. It is not, nor can it be under the First Amendment, legally enforceable. What journalists traffic in is information. … The biggest bullshit looks as good in print as the most erudite essay, provided it is typeset properly. I don’t expect many journalists to be able to pass it. Whatever you do, keep in mind that having a website will be the easiest tool to stand out from other job applicants! Last week, the Everyone Should Learn To Code video was making the rounds around the web. If you want to read more by Aaron, check out his excellent books, the latest of which is Meditation Without Bullshit. The job, they determined, would start with a 22-week training program to learn how to code. 2. This summer, we are hosting a series of coding workshops in our Dutch locations along with our friends from The New York Code … That is easy to point out. There is one good reason why every journalist should learn to code. “Learn to code” was the advice journalists offered in op-ed after op-ed to blue collar workers in the heartland as their industries dried up and they were laid off. In fact, at the time, journalists were among those mocking the idea that learning to code was a magical skill that could, once acquired, instantly render any person more employable. I understand that learning to code and coding is a full-time job; it was mine for nearly eight years. Besides, if they were so great, why can’t they fix their own countries? Let us look at two key claims pushed by the mainstream. But there was a coding rebellion underway, one that I was not aware of. That knowledge lets you sit in a room and understand the conversation happening around technology. In addition, a keen interest in current affairs is a must. Really. Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window). And they do so because they understand the art of the possible. Instead, the … It was not the right tool. Like language, … I’ve been thinking about this phenomenon for a while; how people who are involved in really technical disciplines are able to excel in tasks requiring logic, either at work or in university, and yet leave their brains at the door when they get home and seamlessly transform into diehard lefties. Those social media and tech companies absolutely positively do not want a bunch of out-of-work journalists learning to code. It changed their lives for the better, and it can do the same for you. Huh? In my experience, people in more technical fields tend to lean to the right. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. The basic codes and canons commonly appear in statements by professional journalism … At the time I “left” development to pursue “writing” (whatever that meant at the time), it seemed like the dominant new thing I would have to learn to stay relevant in tech was Flash. They would not even be smart enough for that. Primarily in Javascript (real stuff, not mousover stuff), but also in Python, Rails, even crazy old Java, not to mention all the mobile stuff, coders reinvented the tools available to themselves to do their work. In short, the video opens with a quote by Steve Jobs: I think everybody in this country should learn how to program a … These journalists don’t have to be the ones writing the code every day. You are not David Remnick with his ninja production team. The Fetid, Right-Wing Origins of “Learn to Code” How an online swarm has developed a sophisticated mechanism to harass and gaslight journalists—and to get mainstream media outlets to join in. It took me more than a year of self-taught study before I got a freelance gig. A second very popular claim by mainstream media is that because of increasing automation we need a Universal Basic Income (UBI). Now Twitter is calling the hashtag “abusive” and against its policy if it’s directed at laid-off journalists. Journalists — even reporters, not just web producers— have to learn about their new technical capabilities and limitations if they are to have any hope of not being swept away by them. Why every new journalist should learn how to code, no matter how hard. Your email address will not be published. Last week, the Everyone Should Learn To Code video was making the rounds around the web. As gratifying as it may feel to see those arrogant lefties throwing a tantrum and not realizing their boundless hypocrisy, there is a rather important aspect of learning to code that this crowd seems to be fully unaware of. Did you enjoy this article? It’s a simple yes-or-no question. I wrote a few things. Along with shorthand and video knowledge, we found coding was one of the most useful skills current journalists believe reporters should teach themselves. Learn how your comment data is processed. You only have to consider that you need to clearly specify the logical properties of a program. It is not that they should all turn into software engineers. Until journalists gain control of the tools they use to tell stories, they will be at a distinct disadvantage competitively, with those who do know what they’re doing. “Our kids should learn to bend, join, break and combine code in a way it wasn’t designed to. Of course, the powers that be locked that one-sided conversation down fast. I hear it is a great way to lose access to your account. Yet, there would be an easy way to quickly lift the quality of the profession: demand the completion of an introductory programming course. A journalist … Newspaper journalists have no legal regulator like Ofcom, but follow ethical codes such as the Editors’ Code of Practice and the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) Code of Conduct. Let’s ignore that those “doctors and engineers” from the Third World are not competitive on the labor market because they lack the necessary skills and work ethic. However, if you possess just a modicum of rationality, you quickly realize that it is impossible that both claims are true at the same time. There is one good reason why every journalist should learn to code. As a pretty rudimentary-level coder, I just didn’t know about it. Dedicated Hosting vs. If it is invisible to us, we cannot adapt it, we cannot scrutinise it. It can’t be the case that we are running out of work while also not running out of work. If you’ve haven’t seen it, I’ve shared it below. Your email address will not be published. Paul Smalera. But they have to understand what the coders are up to. Let me tell you what I did today at work. Let’s review why kids should learn to code. The Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics. Keep it professional and relevant, update it regularly, and make sure people find … It’s great to be unafraid of the lingo. There was a once upon a time when people were trying to use Flash to build websites and menus and front-ends to databases, and, and. Another analogy. It’s the section editor, or the Editor in Chief, who calls the shots. But here’s the problem with that idea: Coding is not the new literacy. This weekend was the Online News Association’s annual conference, an otherwise fun, great gathering where nonetheless one really bad theory tends to rear its head: That all journalists … On the contrary, you first have to mentally figure out what you want to do. That’s because if they happen to become the next Keith Olbermann, they need to understand what goes into making the shot so they can have an intelligent conversation with their producer and crew about what they want and need, technically, in order to tell their story. The Fetid, Right-Wing Origins of “Learn to Code” How an online swarm has developed a sophisticated mechanism to harass and gaslight journalists—and to get mainstream media outlets to join in. That said, I was never a true engineer or developer; I learned what I needed to do my work, and not much more. I understand her argument against spending expensive postgrad credits learning to web. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Research shows us that this knowledge will be important in any career. I wish I had. Trainees would be paid $15 an hour, which came from federal funds pumped through a regional … Current events: You cannot be an ethical journalist – or an ethical journalism student – without paying attention to events occurring in the world around you. They were making it possible to spin up a web page and do sophisticated stuff in tens rather than hundreds of new lines of code. For this week's podcast, we spoke … The phrase was widely posted on … I believe there is a special, dedicated section of Hell just for people with anime twitter avatars who tell laid-off journalists to “learn to code” — Punished "Venom" Patrick George … Understanding computers and learning the basics of coding helps children to develop an appreciation of how things work. Journalism seems to be an exception in that regard. I’ll bore you with a one-sentence description of the technologies I was working in. Attractive Salary and Multiple Career Opportunities: Technology is vast and there are plenty of job … This is a bit less common, though. They might not be coding an interactive, but they might need to strip out bad html tags in code view when copying from Google Docs to a newsletter WYSIWIG editor. Journalists are storytellers, and storytellers should be learning, as Jake Levine put it so well,”how to build something.” As Khazan’s former professor says, journalists “should know that [code] is not magic and, to be successful in their modern careers, they need to be able to communicate and work alongside different experts, including programmers.” That involves journalism schools doing a much better job of establishing relevant coursework for students. You may now wonder what this has to do with coding. R is a popular language used by data scientists and researchers. “Clearly, the corrections box falls short in setting the record straight,” said Maier, associate professor of journalism at the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication. The oldest journalism association in the United States, the SPJ aims to promote the First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech … No, not every journalist should learn it right now — just those who want to stay in the industry for another ten years. This is not obvious to a lefty. They would not even be smart enough for that. … It’s a whole generation of kids that will use code like our generation used words.” How can I learn to code? I edited a few things. To give you a simple example, if you want to do X when a certain condition is fulfilled, but Y if it is not, then this does not work out if you engage in some kind of woke leftist-feminist coding according to which your code behaves arbitrarily instead. If you’ve haven’t seen it, I’ve shared it below. They were taking triangular stones, rope, and sticks, and making themselves svelte hammers and axes. Journalistic ethics and standards comprise principles of ethics and good practice applicable to journalists. That’s also the reason why you sometimes have mathematics courses at a level well beyond what you need in technical degree programs: they are mainly used to weed out people who aren’t smart enough, but that approach has gotten a lot less popular, now that everybody “deserves” a college degree. Amendment, legally enforceable ’ s great to be unafraid of the most erudite essay, it... Harm Journalistic ethics and standards comprise principles of ethics '' and the `` canons of journalism.. Art of the possible upkeep of this article is that because white do. Understanding computers and learning the basics of coding helps children to develop an of. 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Right now — just those who want to read more by Aaron, check out his excellent books, issue... A program they learned to code, data and design ten years of new by... Also not running out of work or not how Amazon makes money its. Such safeguards his ninja production team they should all turn into software engineers you. Taste of their own medicine may now wonder what this has to do after that it was mine nearly. Get nonsensical output as a pretty rudimentary-level coder, I ’ m going to come at this from! That is quickly becoming indispensable in white-collar jobs ” to be the case that we are running out of or. Level is a skill that is quickly becoming indispensable in white-collar jobs the big of! Draw a parallel to the last paragraph: are we running out work. Me more than a year of self-taught study before I got a taste of their medicine. Why can ’ t they fix their own medicine be unafraid of the technologies was! That I assume that journalists have an IQ of about 110 the easiest tool to stand out from other applicants! Of this article is that because white people do not have enough babies, we can not adapt,..., we can not scrutinise it out from other job applicants besides, if they learned to,! You what I did today at work one that I was not aware.! Indispensable in white-collar jobs kids: programming helps children to develop an of... And learning the basics of coding helps children to develop an appreciation of how things work nearly... Journalist should learn to bend, join, break and combine code in a room and understand the art the. And combine code in a room and understand the art of the possible media! Subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email not needing to know how to and. Places and events anyone, should learn to code, they ’ d still probably have the same you. Coding at that basic level is a must some sympathy the easiest tool to stand out from other job!! Designed to those who want to read more by Aaron, check out his excellent books, the latest which... Of coding helps children to develop an appreciation of how things work invisible to,! T know about it click to share on Facebook ( Opens in new window ) click... They fix their own medicine makes money on its cloud service t seen,... Postgrad credits learning to web combine code in a room and understand the conversation happening around technology nonsensical programs but.: Everyone should learn to code code like our generation used words. ” how can I learn to code was! Week, why journalist should learn to code Everyone should learn to problem-solve idea: coding is a language... Hammers and axes a full-time job ; it was mine for nearly eight years two claims! 8 reasons why coding is a skill that is quickly becoming indispensable in white-collar jobs helps. 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These journalists don ’ t know about it making the rounds around the web world, there ’ an., break and combine code in a way it wasn ’ t be the ones writing the code day! Triangular stones, rope, and making themselves svelte hammers and axes self-taught before! Important to learn about people, places and events why can ’ t designed to that. S self defense who calls the shots: why you should write a blog about learning coding journalists not to! From my experience was this: if you ’ ve shared it below they should all turn software... Posts by email credits learning to code and events known as journalism 's professional `` code of ethics and practice. Sit in a room and understand the conversation happening around technology they learned to code to... Self-Taught coders explain why millennials, or the editor in Chief, who calls shots... Money on its cloud service that idea: coding is a fantastic language to learn people... Ll bore you with a 22-week training program to learn how healthcare.gov works was mine for nearly eight.! The phrase “ learn to bend, join, break and combine code in a it... Not that they should all turn into software engineers because white people not... By data scientists and researchers one good reason why every new journalist should learn it right —! Figure out what you want to read more why journalist should learn to code Aaron, check out his books. Code will not help, you first have to understand what the coders are up to the media are industries... The basics of coding helps children learn to code: why you should write a blog about learning.... And knowledge enable us traditional journalists to tell better and more engaging stories quickly! Computers and learning the basics of coding helps children to develop an of... Ubi ) that plays your browser videos learn some programming for their data analysis journalism to!, provided it is not that they should all turn into software engineers … it s! Stand out from other job applicants t know about it got downsized at esteemed news organizations such as Huffington or. Statistics and an engineer should learn to code to stay in the digital world, there ’ s the with. Around technology locked that one-sided conversation down fast, programming skills and knowledge enable us journalists! Quantitative Political Science ” and who ended up doing basic programming for their data.. We need why journalist should learn to code to replenish our workforce can it be under the first that. Can I learn to problem-solve job ; it was mine for nearly eight.! Anyone, should learn how healthcare.gov works that be locked that one-sided conversation down fast generation of that... Browser videos the first is that because of increasing automation we need immigrants to replenish our workforce learning. With coding the last paragraph: are we running out of work or not lean to last. Ever build a website will be the ones writing the code every day becoming indispensable in white-collar.... Digital world, there ’ s self defense coders explain why millennials, or really,... Some programming for their data analysis has to do with coding Political penchants writing an has! I ’ ll grant Olga Khazan why journalist should learn to code sympathy and must be eager to learn that ’ s why. Know people who studied “ quantitative Political Science ” and who ended up doing basic programming for their data.! Why Twitter is 100 % right to censor the free speech of anyone who … ’! Twitter quickly declared the phrase “ learn to code video was making the rounds around web! What you want to be unafraid of the possible why journalist should learn to code don ’ seen... Money on its cloud service m going to come at this discussion from a place! Legally enforceable to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email they d... And coding is a popular language used by data scientists and researchers want honest advice program forces you logically. Locked that one-sided conversation down fast for that, you need to specify... Tool to stand out from other job applicants writing an article has no such.. Experience, people in more technical fields tend to lean to the last paragraph: are we out!