The idea of educating computer scientists in journalism can really improve digital news, said Rich Gordon, an associate professor at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University during the Knight Innovation Seminar.
Rather than specifically targeting journalism students, the grant looks instead for those in computer science who maybe “never would have thought of getting a degree in journalism.”
Gordon said the program wants people who are willing to move out of their comfort zone, in social situations and in their writing.
Students in the program develop journalistic skills and eventually work with traditional journalism students to come up with innovative ideas and projects.
Gordon admitted that one of the challenges, of course, is getting the word out. He said the grant really depends on advertising on blogs and programming career sites to attract applicants.
The idea, along with 24 others, was funded by a grant through the Knight News Challenge.
As a freshman journalism student at Ohio University interested in computer science and digital media, I know I would really benefit from working alongside a computer programmer because I would be able to see everything from their perspective. The prospect of working with computer programmers toward a similar goal definitely encourages me to continue developing my own programming skills.
-- Savannah Aepli