Thursday, November 02, 2006

Traditional skills most important in online newsrooms

For those looking to get into journalism, E-Media Tidbits has information on a new study that reveals what skills online newsrooms are looking for.
The Online News Association has released a study of job skills needed in online newsrooms. The research was conducted a little less than a year ago by C. Max Magee during his master's degree studies at the Medill School of Journalism, where I teach. More than 400 people working in online news, from big companies to blogs, filled out the survey. Managers were asked about skills they were looking for in a job candidate; content producers were asked what skills they use most in their job.
The report is a pretty easy read (10 pages in PDF, about half of which is charts). A few of the key findings:
  • The most important skills/qualities in online newsrooms are not related to technology or the Web. They are things like attention to detail, news judgment, grammar and style, multitasking skills, communication skills and ability to work under time pressure.
  • Less than half the producers and managers said reporting original stories was part of the job expectations for online newsrooms.
  • HTML, Photoshop, use of a content management system and Web usability are the most important tools and technologies for online newsroom workers.
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