Journalism Student Survey

1. How important do you think the following skills are for journalism students to learn? Not as Vital Important important as other subjects Web-based skills (creating content online, blogs, etc) Social media (twitter, social networks, etc) Business and entrepreneurial skills Unimportant Rating Average Response Count

59.0% (85)

32.6% (47)

7.6% (11)

0.7% (1)



21.0% (30)

46.2% (66)

28.0% (40)

4.9% (7)



11.2% (16) 93.8% (135) 38.5% (55)

40.6% (58)

40.6% (58)

7.7% (11)



News gathering and writing

6.3% (9)

0.0% (0)

0.0% (0)



Sub-editing and design Audio and video (podcasts, video reports, etc)

55.2% (79)

6.3% (9)

0.0% (0)



40.6% (58)

48.3% (69)

11.2% (16)

0.0% (0)



Any further comments? answered question skipped question

33 144 0

Any further comments? 1 2 Shorthand At the moment I'm spending so much time mastering ways of presenting information that I'm not spending anywhere near enough time understanding what story should be told. I'm learning to do slick presentations of slim stories. This can't be right. May 11, 2009 1:06 PM May 11, 2009 2:18 PM

3 4

Facebook and twitter can only offer news in an advertising context they do not May 11, 2009 3:12 PM give people new information. Two skills that were not on there but should be is "willingness to change" and "creative thinking." Journalists need to learn how to think like us Fine Arts types and push the boundaries to find out where journalism can and should go. May 11, 2009 5:02 PM


Part of the problem with the uncertainty around the industry is that journalism May 11, 2009 5:28 PM students need to be adept at both the old tricks of the trade (newswriting, subediting, law) and the new ones (web, social media, twitter). We need to be qualified to create and publish content across all platforms until it is clearer what path our own careers will take. In this day and age journalists should have a wide variety of skills in order to cater for the huge multimedia demands placed on them. May 11, 2009 6:15 PM

6 7

I feel as though copy editing is the most important subject students often look May 11, 2009 6:17 PM over.

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Any further comments? 8 We have been drilled constantly on the importance of being flexible and forward thinking. When Emily Bell came to talk to us last week she said that Digital Media will feature heavily in the future of Journalism and so it is only sensible we learn the skills now. Doing the basics well still must be the most important thing, but the opportunities to do them are dwindling, especially for young reporters. broadcast skills are more important than print skills Design and sub-editing is more important for magazine courses but it should be taught WELL on print courses too. Having almost completed a course that is very focused on teaching multi-platform within the specific discipline I can definitely see the benefits of both learning web-based skills and news gathering/writing. I don't intend to work on a paper but news writing has improved my writing overall and increased my news sense. We have done a "convergence" project and also had to create a magazine in a week (alongside our colleagues creating a newspaper and daily broadcasts and a news website, all of which was supposed to feed into each other).They have been two of the biggest learning experiences, learning to make copy suitable for cross platform publication and also how to add audio and video for the web which gives the magazine copy another edge online. Shorthand (although horribly painful and depressing sometimes!) is a great skill that should be taught on more courses. 12 13 Blogging, tweeting, etc are useful networking, marketing and research tools. But they do not replace hard reporting skills. I don't think news gathering and writing should be in the same category. Journalism doesn't revolve around the print product, it revolves around reporting. i believe shorthand is the most important shorthand- still vital I think journalists in the future will need a good understanding of new technologies i.e. twitter, pod casts, blogs as they are becoming ever more important in the way the media operates. May 11, 2009 8:59 PM May 11, 2009 9:35 PM May 11, 2009 6:18 PM

9 10 11

May 11, 2009 6:32 PM May 11, 2009 6:39 PM May 11, 2009 8:39 PM

14 15 16

May 11, 2009 10:07 PM May 11, 2009 11:14 PM May 12, 2009 8:18 AM

17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24

I think web based skille and social media are important but it depends on what May 12, 2009 8:21 AM kind of journalism you want to do. Nope May 12, 2009 10:52 AM Online skills should be taken into consideration more than it is an the moment, May 12, 2009 10:52 AM i.e. on print journalism courses. I feel it would be very well served for students to learn about trying to promote May 12, 2009 11:24 AM themselves and their portfolio to get an edge on the competition. Grammar, spelling, punctuation are extremely important shorthand! Learning can be extremely tedious but it is really useful (and you feel really smug when you get your 100pwm) communication skills are also vital I think social media is interesting to media people and no one else. Media people use Twitter as a way of breaking news. Everyone else uses it to say they're having a cup of tea and want to go on holiday. However skills like how to edit a video and audio well are vital. CONVERGENCE, apparently, is the most vital skill. The employers I have asked look mostly for research and writing skills, and IDEAS. I think some knowledge of web-design is important so that a journalist is able to envisage how the information they collect will be portrayed, but that webdesign should be left to professionals trained especially for that. News gathering, design and a/v ability are the most important aspects. Employers want top quality skills in everything. You have to be multi skilled. Twitter infuriates me as do blogs. May 13, 2009 8:17 AM May 14, 2009 5:20 PM May 14, 2009 5:27 PM May 14, 2009 5:55 PM

25 26

May 14, 2009 6:03 PM May 14, 2009 7:50 PM

27 28

May 14, 2009 8:09 PM May 14, 2009 9:19 PM

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Any further comments? 29 The skills you need depend on what type of journalism you want to do but a knowledge and know-how of all are important because of convergence. Shorthand is not on that list but it is also vital. Web skills are increasingly important in order to be fully up to date with newsrooms and make your CV stand out from the crowd. It continues to amaze me how some journalism students have virtually no online presence. We will all be working on the web for most of our careers in one form or another. However, some journalism departments some of the time are still in a mentality of preparing people for reporting jobs in local newspapers. The NCTJ, which has a tiny emphasis on the web let alone new media, encourages this. News gathering and writing is important, but so is online distribution, working with not for your users and looking at new ways of gathering and presenting news. May 14, 2009 10:02 PM

30 31

May 14, 2009 10:05 PM May 16, 2009 3:57 PM

32 33

Even if a student is only interested in reporting for a paper based newspaper a May 16, 2009 4:34 PM knowledge of other skills are vital to be able to compete in the market. interview skill Jun 16, 2009 2:10 AM

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