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Knight report on training shows journalists want technology, multimedia, data skills

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Knight report on training shows journalists want technology, multimedia, data skills

Howard Finberg, Poynter | August 10, 2012

A recent report by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation summarizes the state of journalism training.

Here are some key findings from "Digital Training Comes of Age:"

  • Journalists want more training in digital tools such as multimedia, data analysis and technology. Most give their news organizations low marks for providing training opportunities.

  • Digital classes are gaining popularity as a cost-effective way to reach more trainees. A third of U.S. journalists and eight in 10 international journalists say the online classes they took were as good as, or better than, conventional training in the classroom.

  • Training organizations are adapting to the digital age. They are providing more training online and rethinking how their programs can foster the transformation of journalism.

The report was authored by Eric Newton, senior adviser to the president at the Knight Foundation, and Michele McLellan, a consultant to the foundation. Although the study focused on Knight-funded programs, the authors believe the insights are relevant to all who are interested in journalism training.

About 660 journalists, alumni of Knight training programs, were surveyed, with 61 percent of participants coming from outside the United States. Most of the international journalists were from Latin America. McLellan doesn’t believe the makeup of the survey participants lessens the impact of the overall conclusions.

“We thought that this might be a result from a couple of factors: The non-U.S. have less access to training in general and appreciate online training more,” McLellan said in an email. “The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas has developed effective e-learning programs [and] the vast majority of the non-U.S. participants were trained by the center.”

However, there are important differences between the U.S. journalists and international participants. When looking at the effectiveness of e-learning, 84 percent of international journalists thought distance learning was better or about the same as classroom training; only 34 percent of U.S. journalists felt that way.

Image: Morguefile.

To read the original article, click here.

This article first appeared on Poynter Online, IJNet’s partner and the website of the Poynter Institute, a school serving journalism and democracy for more than 35 years. Poynter offers news and training that fits any schedule, with individual coaching, in-person seminars, online courses, webinars and more. The complete article is translated into IJNet’s six other languages with permission.