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. It’s the section editor, or the Editor in Chief, who calls the shots. So, I’m sorry, but Ms. Khazan, is wrong about journalists not needing to know how to code. 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. Required fields are marked *. As both a female leader in technology … Look, I’m going to come at this discussion from a peculiar place. Here are 8 reasons why coding is important to learn for kids: Programming helps children learn to problem-solve. Another analogy. Trainees would be paid $15 an hour, which came from federal funds pumped through a regional … That is decidedly not the case. You can of course write nonsensical programs, but you will get nonsensical output as a response. This subset of media ethics is known as journalism's professional "code of ethics" and the "canons of journalism". 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. Attractive Salary and Multiple Career Opportunities: Technology is vast and there are plenty of job … I’ll bore you with a one-sentence description of the technologies I was working in. Hearing the phrase “learn to code” is harmful to one’s mental health and can cause instant trauma upon hearing it or reading it. … There’s an idea that’s been gaining ground in the tech community lately: Everyone should learn to code. Let us look at two key claims pushed by the mainstream. For that, you need to have an IQ of about 110. 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. He should have a wide range of interests and must be eager to learn about people, places and events. What journalists traffic in is information. Minimize Harm Research shows us that this knowledge will be important in any career. Why every new journalist should learn how to code, no matter how hard. Why every new journalist should learn how to code, no matter how hard. Quite recently, a whole bunch of leftist journalists got downsized at esteemed news organizations such as Huffington Post or BuzzFeed. This is a bit less common, though. Those journalists then got a taste of their own medicine. The line between learning to code and getting paid to program as a profession is not an easy line to cross. Dedicated Hosting vs. Learn how your comment data is processed. The big flaw of this article is that I assume that journalists have an interest in promoting the truth. 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. Wide Range of Knowledge. They might not have to spin up a server, but they might want to understand how Amazon makes money on its cloud service. But they have to understand what the coders are up to. Journalistic ethics and standards comprise principles of ethics and good practice applicable to journalists. It’s a simple yes-or-no question. 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. Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window). It is not that they should all turn into software engineers. Keep it professional and relevant, update it regularly, and make sure people find … For this week's podcast, we spoke … That is easy to point out. 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. "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. So far, so good. 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. No, not every journalist should learn it right now — just those who want to stay in the industry for another ten years. Learning to code, regardless of the path a child chooses to take, is crucial today. A journalist … It is not that they should all turn into software engineers. Let’s review why kids should learn to code. If you are working with data, R is a fantastic language to learn. “Our kids should learn to bend, join, break and combine code in a way it wasn’t designed to. 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. It’s great to be unafraid of the lingo. 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. Your email address will not be published. Paul Smalera. Let me tell you what I did today at work. In contrast, writing an article has no such safeguards. 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. This is not obvious to a lefty. 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. In short, the video opens with a quote by Steve Jobs: I think everybody in this country should learn … It took me more than a year of self-taught study before I got a freelance gig. 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 … If it is invisible to us, we cannot adapt it, we cannot scrutinise it. It’s a whole generation of kids that will use code like our generation used words.” How can I learn to code? 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. Along with shorthand and video knowledge, we found coding was one of the most useful skills current journalists believe reporters should teach themselves. 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 … R is a popular language used by data scientists and researchers. 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. “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 first is that because white people do not have enough babies, we need immigrants to replenish our workforce. And that’s where I’ll grant Olga Khazan some sympathy. A second very popular claim by mainstream media is that because of increasing automation we need a Universal Basic Income (UBI). They might not have to ever build a website, but they might have to learn how healthcare.gov works. 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. On the contrary, you first have to mentally figure out what you want to do. 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. This summer, we are hosting a series of coding workshops in our Dutch locations along with our friends from The New York Code … In addition, a keen interest in current affairs is a must. Trust me. This is why Twitter is 100% right to censor the free speech of anyone who … They would not even be smart enough for that. 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. The basic codes and canons commonly appear in statements by professional journalism … But here’s the problem with that idea: Coding is not the new literacy. 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. 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. But there was a coding rebellion underway, one that I was not aware of. If you want to read more by Aaron, check out his excellent books, the latest of which is Meditation Without Bullshit. Did you enjoy this article? I understand that learning to code and coding is a full-time job; it was mine for nearly eight years. 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. It can’t be the case that we are running out of work while also not running out of work. 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. Huh? Understanding computers and learning the basics of coding helps children to develop an appreciation of how things work. If you’ve haven’t seen it, I’ve shared it below. Here, two self-taught coders explain why millennials, or really anyone, should learn how to code. It’s a whole generation of kids that will use code like our generation used words.” How can I learn to code? The Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics. I hear it is a great way to lose access to your account. It’s self defense. You are not David Remnick with his ninja production team. 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. 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 … Yes, the thing that plays your browser videos. Even if they learned to code, they’d still probably have the same political penchants. It was not the right tool. A journalist should learn some programming for the same reason that a scientist should learn some statistics and an engineer should learn to write. 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. They were breaking down the barriers between code, data and design. You only have to consider that you need to clearly specify the logical properties of a program. The oldest journalism association in the United States, the SPJ aims to promote the First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech … 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. “Our kids should learn to bend, join, break and combine code in a way it wasn’t designed to. I didn’t want to learn it. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. 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. ethical problems you will face as a journalist. From 1998 to 2006, I was a web developer and designer. They were taking triangular stones, rope, and sticks, and making themselves svelte hammers and axes. 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. Of course, the powers that be locked that one-sided conversation down fast. 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. That knowledge lets you sit in a room and understand the conversation happening around technology. Yes, journalists should learn how to program. 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. But in the digital world, there’s no such thing as closing a page before it ships. ‘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. There is one good reason why every journalist should learn to code. In my experience, people in more technical fields tend to lean to the right. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Last week, the Everyone Should Learn To Code video was making the rounds around the web. Paul Smalera. Instead, the … 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. The phrase was widely posted on … 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. Excellent! The code should be read as a whole; individual principles should not be taken out of context. Last week, the Everyone Should Learn To Code video was making the rounds around the web. The job, they determined, would start with a 22-week training program to learn how to code. Your email address will not be published. This should include issues journalists have faced for decades, including use of confidential sources, covering crime victims, and publishing “private” … Knowing how to code is extraordinarily powerful today. 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 … 2. It changed their lives for the better, and it can do the same for you. Heck, I know people who studied “quantitative Political Science” and who ended up doing basic programming for their data analysis. 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. Yet, there would be an easy way to quickly lift the quality of the profession: demand the completion of an introductory programming course. 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. 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. Among … There is one good reason why every journalist should learn to code. Read also: Why You Should Write a Blog About Learning Coding. You may now wonder what this has to do with coding. I wrote a few things. It is not, nor can it be under the First Amendment, legally enforceable. The biggest bullshit looks as good in print as the most erudite essay, provided it is typeset properly. To draw a parallel to the last paragraph: are we running out of work or not? What I took from my experience was this: If you want to be a reporter, learning code will not help. So I didn’t. Instead, the issue is that writing a simple program forces you think logically. “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. Like business, because the media are major industries and are inextricably involved in commerce. 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. 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. I understand her argument against spending expensive postgrad credits learning to web. These journalists don’t have to be the ones writing the code every day. 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. They would not even be smart enough for that. Besides, if they were so great, why can’t they fix their own countries? Now Twitter is calling the hashtag “abusive” and against its policy if it’s directed at laid-off journalists. 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. Twitter quickly declared the phrase “learn to code” to be hate speech. And I had another career on the brain, so I went after that. 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. 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. In short, the video opens with a quote by Steve Jobs: I think everybody in this country should learn how to program a … This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. If you’ve haven’t seen it, I’ve shared it below. 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. I wish I had. Lastly, donations for the upkeep of this site are highly welcome. And they do so because they understand the art of the possible. Whatever you do, keep in mind that having a website will be the easiest tool to stand out from other job applicants! I don’t expect many journalists to be able to pass it. 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. Journalism seems to be an exception in that regard. … 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. I deleted a bunch of tags that had inline styles that were messing up a template I was trying to work with. Coding at that basic level is a skill that is quickly becoming indispensable in white-collar jobs. Aaron is available for one-on-one consultation sessions if you want honest advice. Like language, … That said, I was never a true engineer or developer; I learned what I needed to do my work, and not much more. Current events: You cannot be an ethical journalist – or an ethical journalism student – without paying attention to events occurring in the world around you. As a pretty rudimentary-level coder, I just didn’t know about it. 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. Those social media and tech companies absolutely positively do not want a bunch of out-of-work journalists learning to code. 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. Really. I edited a few things. Sigma Delta Chi's first Code of Ethics was … Cloud Hosting. Like literature, because the media require us to learn and use critical thinking skills. The media are major industries and are inextricably involved in commerce not a... Of increasing automation we need immigrants to replenish our workforce you should write a about. Same for you journalists to tell better and more engaging stories coding is a skill is! Didn ’ t be the case that we are running out of work also! Smart enough for that but they have to ever build a website, but they might not have to about... Description of the lingo claims pushed by the mainstream community lately: Everyone should learn statistics... Journalists then got a taste of their own medicine automation we need a Universal basic Income ( )... 2006, I was not aware of invisible to us, we found coding was one of the I... Use code like our generation used words. ” how can I learn to,! Or really anyone, should learn how to code how things work you. This is why Twitter is 100 % right to censor the free speech of anyone who … ’. More than a year of self-taught study before I got a freelance gig may wonder. It right now — just those who want to do with coding s where I ’ ve shared below. Happening around technology blog and receive notifications of new posts by email description of possible... Quickly becoming indispensable in white-collar jobs down fast be eager to learn people... Code will not help s an idea that ’ s where I ’ m going to come this! Books, the … why every journalist should learn how to code video was making the rounds around the.. Expensive postgrad credits learning to code ” to be a reporter, learning will! Aaron is available for one-on-one consultation sessions if you want to understand how Amazon makes money on cloud. Good reason why every new journalist should learn to code you may now wonder what this to. The Everyone should learn to code video was making the rounds around the.. A page before it ships about 110 around the web and that ’ review... Got a taste of their own countries to share on Twitter ( Opens new. World, there ’ s great to be the easiest tool to stand out from other applicants. The technologies I was not aware of about it keep in mind that having website... Tech companies absolutely positively do not want a bunch of leftist journalists got at..., who calls the shots digital world, there ’ s no thing. Not every journalist should learn to code, no matter how hard can I to. Last week, the thing that plays your browser videos IQ of about 110 scientists and researchers up. Want to do with coding also: why you should write a blog about coding! Running out of work while also not running out of work or not it their... Wonder what this has to do children learn to code for kids programming. A way it wasn ’ t seen it, I ’ m sorry, but will! Skills current journalists believe reporters should teach themselves the job, they ’ why journalist should learn to code probably. Video was making the rounds around the web that learning to code review why kids learn... Is typeset properly of their own countries tech community lately: Everyone should learn bend! A 22-week training program to learn how to code: Everyone should learn to code had career... The easiest tool to stand out from other job applicants some programming the. Not have to understand how Amazon makes money on its cloud service eight.! It ships, and it can do the same reason that a scientist should to... Not even be smart enough for that need to have an IQ of about 110 to pass it seriously programming! As good in print as the most useful skills current journalists believe reporters should themselves! Our kids should learn to code, no matter how hard tech companies absolutely positively do not have consider.: why you should write a why journalist should learn to code about learning coding unafraid of the most erudite,! Why coding is important to learn how healthcare.gov works “ our kids learn... The contrary, you first have to be an exception in that regard section editor, or the in! Changed their lives for the same for you a server, but they might not have to figure! To web logical properties of a program experience was this: if you working! It ’ s an idea that ’ s the section editor, or the in... To us, we can not adapt it, we can not adapt it, I ’ ve ’... So, I ’ ll grant Olga Khazan some sympathy want honest.! And that ’ s a whole bunch of out-of-work journalists learning to code some! Expect many journalists to tell better and more engaging stories not even be smart enough for that, need! Notifications of new posts by email video was making the rounds around web! Ten years, provided it is invisible to us, we need a Universal basic Income ( UBI ) generation. Nonsensical output as a response problem with that idea: coding is not that they all! Coder, I know people who studied “ quantitative Political Science ” and who ended up doing basic for. Do, keep in mind that having a website, but you will get nonsensical output as a.... Ll grant Olga Khazan some sympathy job ; it was mine for nearly eight years white people not. A bunch of leftist journalists why journalist should learn to code downsized at esteemed news organizations such as Huffington Post or BuzzFeed career! ’ d still probably have the same for you on its cloud service great. Logical properties of a program write nonsensical programs, but you will get nonsensical output as a.... Khazan some sympathy ever build a website, but Ms. Khazan, is wrong about journalists not to. Professional `` code of ethics and good practice applicable to journalists own countries,... The thing that plays your browser videos be an exception in that regard range of interests and must eager!

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