Journalists jotting down New Year’s resolutions should include a plan to improve their skills--or even learn a few new ones. Like a Swiss Army knife, journalists today need to be multifunctional.
Not sure where to start? Here are a few suggestions. Whether you focus on one or choose to master them all, these skills will make you more marketable in 2013 and in years to come:
Whether it’s just to spruce up a blog or to conceptualize remarkable projects like the latest New York Times interactive masterpiece, Web coding is a valuable skill for journalists. There are a number of free resources for teaching yourself programming languages. You can also learn HTML or CSS hands-on with Web page editor Mozilla Thimble.
Infographics and data visualizations took reporting in the public interest to new heights in 2012, and reporting and presentation will only continue to intertwine. Journalists will shift from hunter/gatherer style to a mode of interpretation as data sets become more readily available.
But all of these data are useless unless journalists have the know-how to analyze them. Make the Data Journalism Handbook your new best friend or browse through the Guardian’s best data visualizations of the year to get an idea of the impact data storytelling can have. Or start your own data or infographic project with Piktochart or Google Fusion Tables.
Journalists need to brand and market themselves. One of the easiest ways to do that (other than social media) is with an online portfolio or personal website. Use WordPress, Cuttings.me, Pressfolios and other free sites to contain all of your vital career details.
Maintain a blog, create an infographic resume from your LinkedIn profile with Visualize.me or Visually, archive your best clips and link to all your social media accounts--not just to sell yourself, but to highlight your unique set of skills and qualifications.
What new skills do you want to learn this year?
Image CC-licensed on Flickr via AJC1.