…is that you don’t have to do everything yourself.
That’s what I’m finally learning after 3.5 months at my new job. Everyone has a specialty, and the best thing you can do is let everyone do what they do best, whether it’s design, code, manage, write, shoot, edit, record, or evangelize.
I spent my lunch hour today forgetting to eat while having a cup of coffee with Chris Jordan, a photographer and multimedia specialist out of Montana who’s in the Bay Area right now. (Hint: Hire him.)
We compared notes on what’s going on in online news, and it definitely reminded me that we all have our own skill sets, and newsrooms are looking for journalists who can do any one of the things we specialize in.
The task for j-schools, of course, is to teach every journalism student at least ONE of the following skills:
- Multimedia: Video and audio recording and editing, plus any Flash skills at all. This gets you hired.
- Interactivity: Know everything about blogs, and think about how to manage and moderate commenting systems, forums, and community sites. This gets you hired.
- Data: Be a wizard with Excel at the least, maps mashups if possible, and Django if you want to go further down the rabbit hole. This gets you hired.
If you’re in school and you’re not taking a class where you’re learning at least one of these things, start teaching yourself now. Get a blog and start reading blogs about new media and the Web. Experiment. Learn.
Knowing how to do nothing but report and write gets you hired … as a freelancer.