“All Journalists Should All Know the Difference between HTML and CSS” says expert Jeremy Rue

Jeremy Rue, lecturer of New Media at the University of California (UC) Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, told this blog:

Not all journalists will need to learn to code. But all journalists should all know how the web functions; the difference between HTML and CSS and the philosophies behind those forms.”

“The web is not just a technology, but an entire ecosystem of ideals and ethos that have imbued many of the thinkers who made the web possible.”

The experienced journalist and web developer, who has been involved for years in workshops on multimedia storytelling techniques, believes in the importance of a basic literacy of the web in terms of “understanding its nomenclature, its function, and the philosophy on which it’s built.”

From Googling tutorials to real-world projects

For those who want to learn how to code, he recommends online tutorials like Code School, Lynda.com and Code.org. He added:

“Many people often fail to advanced past this point because they find difficulty in applying the lessons to real-world projects. It’s important to have something tangible to build and working toward that goal — and Googling questions often.”

Numbers VS Journalists

Regardless of many journalists hate coding, Rue still believes that knowing a little HTML and CSS as background is necessary:

“There are some journalists who hate coding, and that’s fair. I still feel they should know a little HTML and CSS as background. Those who find it stimulating and challenging might enjoy it more.”

He shares these articles some journalists have written about their learning processes:

Interactivity: begginning of a new era

Although big organisations like The New York Times and ProPublica have launched interactive stories, it seems that this trend is going on slower among the little ones. According to Rue, the same thing happened when TV was invented:

“It required an enormous investment in equipment and people with the skills to produce video. It took a few decades for TV to really find its form through the 50s and 60s. I suspect this will be less and less of an issue in the coming decade.”