Two New York journalist-teaching universities, NYU and Columbia, have launched programs to create what Justin Ellis calls “the journo-programmer.”
At NYU, my colleague and podcast partner, Jay Rosen, is leading the effort withStudio 20. Columbia hired Emily Bell from The Guardian to lead the Tow Center for Digital Journalism.
I visited with Bell recently, and of course we talked largely about the journo-programmer. My own interest in this area comes from the development of blogging, RSS, and podcasting software, and booting up the blogging activity at Harvard Law School in the early and mid 2000s.
So…what is a journo-programmer, and how might higher education create one? Or is it a god-given gift, and is our job merely to develop the talent where it already exists? Can you teach a programmer to be a writer, or a writer to be a programmer? It seems the first step is to ask people who have already made the journey — from both directions.