Ask the Coach

Just another Freedom Forum Diversity Institute weblog

Skills for the Future?

Dear Coach,
If you could look into crystal ball, say, five or 10 years down the line, what journalism skills do you think will be the most valued? Video? Blogging? Which editing programs, etc.? – Forward Thinking

Dear Forward,

I can’t answer that with any certainty right now. Here’s why:

If you had asked veteran journalists five or 10 years ago to look into a crystal ball and tell you what skills would be valued today, I promise you, what they would not have said was: “You should know how to edit audio and file stories to different platforms, how to podcast and how to tweet the news of Michael Jackson’s death to your cell phone, so that 3 ½ minutes after the news broke, people in every corner of the world would know and could call up news Web sites from their cell phones to read more about it.”

We just don’t know what the program or skill du jour will be a decade, or even two years, from now. But there is a skill you can start on now that will be of huge value to you, no matter what those new things may be:

The ability to keep learning new stuff – whether a new program, news delivery system, ways of telling stories, or something else that none of us can imagine now.

If you know how to keep learning new stuff, and hold to the core journalism values of fairness, accuracy, context and truthfulness – which will not change, no matter what technology brings – you’ll be good to go, on whatever path you choose to follow.


1 Comment

  1. [...] question. Short answer: No one knows. I answered a similar query just two years ago. At that time, nobody could have known that Twitter would upend the way news is [...]

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