The 2013 Journalism Interactive conference, hosted by the University of Florida, was a fast-paced gathering with fascinating speakers and attendees. It focused on pedagogy and practice more than research, but still featured boundary-stretching ideas and experiments.
Keynote speaker Matt Boogie challenged the attendees to imagine a future where information is freed from specific constraints of individual devices. He asked his audience to think beyond ubiquitous computing to see a future of what he termed ‘atmospheric computing.’ In this view of the future, devices broadcast nearly as much information to each other as they receive from traditional media partners.
I had a chance to speculate about what journalism schools (including Medill) should be doing on a great panel with Cindy Royal, of Texas State at San Marcos, and Lisa Williams, Placeblogger. We pondered, argued and agreed about the role of the ‘mythical unicorn’ — the journalism student/professional who reports, codes and designs.
I argued that learning to code is no harder than learning AP style and that teaching students to report and code is no different than learning to report and write. Both are just forms of distribution.
Also Dave Stanton‘s For Journalism KickStarter project had a strong presence [disclosure note: I’m an instructional reviewer and backer of the project]. The online code/journalism concept fit in nicely with the strong instructional bent of the conference.