'Insight into Journalism Day' at The Guardian
A couple of weeks back I went to a lunchtime function within The Guardian, in the Scott Room, where tonight we will be hosting London Mini-IA. The lunch was an opportunity for some students who were visiting the newspaper for the day to mingle with staff and journalists.
I was interested for two reasons.
Firstly I was keen to see what kind of multimedia technology the students used and had been exposed to. I was pleased to hear that the majority had done some kind of blogging either for themselves or for publications. A couple of people were clearly more adventurous than others - when I asked one guy about multimedia content, he explained that he had downloaded and used Audacity for audio editing, and the GIMP for manipulating images.
I was, naturally, using the opportunity to promote my belief that to be an employable journalist of the future, digital literacy and the ability to make and edit multimedia packages will be a minimum requirement.
I was a little concerned that some of the reaction to that veered into the "well, there isn't a module for that in my course and I don't have the money to do extra training". I suspect that is symptomatic of having come through an education system that relentlessly teaches and tests to a narrow top-down curriculum.
I tried to encourage them that there were plenty of 'howto' guides and tutorials on the web for web-based skills. I'm not knocking paid tuition in new media areas - I do it myself - but I did feel that a few of the people I spoke to didn't have the spirit of inquisitive adventure about learning how to do things on the web that I associate with successful digital journalists.
The second thing of interest for me was a chance to actually mingle with some of the writing staff on The Guardian. Although we are all 'converged' into the one building, I haven't really had much cause to meet up with many of the journalists yet, and so it was good to hear some of them tell their career stories, and explain how they felt about the future of the profession.
The event was part of an 'Insight into Journalism Day' which the paper runs several times a year. If you are interested in a potential career in journalism and the media and are over 18, then you can apply to go on one by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.