We have discussed on this blog the difficulties media companies have when they want to hire a journalist/coder: do you hire a techie and teach her journalism or do you hire a journalist and teach him to code?
Soon, news orgs won’t have to choose. Columbia University is going to start offering a dual-master’s program in journalism and computer science, starting in 2011.
The five-semester program will admit just 15 students who will be taught not just to use current tech but to create new programs they can use for doing journalism.
They’ll learn how to automate routine tasks, create data visualizations, identify underreported stories, and more.
Wired broke the story yesterday and commented that “the concept makes sense, the problem it addresses is real, and Columbia is capable of taking on the challenge.” Here’s hoping they can fit more than 15 students per semester in this program.