Faculty Development and Recruitment

For many journalism schools, integrating specialized coursework in data and computation will present something of a chicken-and-egg conundrum. There is professional demand for data journalists in part because they are relatively scarce, so while schools may wish to prepare their graduates for this emerging field, the field itself may not yet have enough teachers in its ranks.

But specialized coursework will meet only some of the need highlighted in this study: data and computation must also continue to be integrated into many classes where it is now neglected, from boot camps to capstones and theses. It is worth recalling that editors once resisted the use of photography as a journalistic tool. Journalism schools must prepare students to bring data and computation to any story that needs it.

This may require many journalism faculty to be trained to work with data and computational tools. At the very least, journalism instructors should be conscious of when a student’s work may benefit from data, even if the student must go elsewhere for targeted instruction. Scheduling guest lectures may also serve as a transitional solution.

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