If you are a journalist, what would be the best present from programmers and developers that Santa Claus could leave under your Christmas tree? And, correspondingly, if you are a programmer or developer, what would be the best present from journalism that Father Christmas could deliver down your chimney?
Aside from some dissent about the the Christmas slant, the either/or stance of the question was legitimately challenged by Heather Billings. “How many times do programmers have to prove they can be journalists, and vice versa?” she asked.
Content management systems loomed large in people’s wishes. Daniel Bentley yearns for “an open source content management system that doesn’t suck.” Kathy Gill wants Santa to “put someone other than IT in charge of all CMS purchases.”
A couple of people wanted more semantic mark-up, but Jacob Caggiano identified one common problem in the semantic web space – “overlapping projects that don’t play nice with each other due to individual political interests that result in frustration for the average user.”
Andrew Zaleski pleased me by pointing out that “the problems of large-scale information architecture for news sites are really hard problems.” Don’t I know it. His wish was for a system that would help editors deliver news websites that retained the clear information hierarchy associated with print products, rather than the often messy list views that we end up with today.
Jonathan Frost at Wannabehacks also warmed my heart by concluding that “User experience should be the next big thing in journalism and development. Don’t leave the designer out in the snow.”
Donica had a great idea for a useful resource, a “a go-to-wiki that includes a directory of all the cool tools developers are making that relate to journalism, with links to examples, how-to guides and user comments.” Nicola Hughes, meanwhile, made her post into a cartoon strip, and Paul Bradshaw made a fascinating wish list.
Patrick Thornton asked for there to be more appreciation of technology amongst journalists – but added a note of caution:
An appreciation for tech skills and developers doesn’t mean chasing the latest buzzwords. In fact, watching many news organizations chasing trends instead of meaningful innovation leads me to believe that there isn’t a healthy enough appreciation for technology in newsroom. There simply aren’t enough people in newsrooms with the skills to know what is worth pursuing and what isn’t.
In an age of cutting costs, one of the most precious resources we have left is our time. Anything that saves it, that means it can be spent doing journalism or making tools that journalists can use is a wonderful thing.
December’s “Carnival of journalism” blog posts
Here is (I think) a complete list of those taking part:
Alfred Hermida: The role of technology in journalism
Andre Natta: A #jcarn holiday wish for journalists – help us show relevance
Andrew Zalesky: Programmers, here’s what I want
Clarisa Clarity: Is it crap or craptastick?
Daniel Bentlet: Dear Journalism Santa, I want a CMS that doesn’t suck
David Cohn: If this works – it will be a Google+ public update and automatically create my December Contribution to the Carnival of Journalism on my personal blog
Heather Billings: I see what you did there
Jack D. Lail: Just surprise me
Jon Offredo: The Jobseeker’s journo wish list
Jonathan Frost: All I want for Christmas
Kathy Gill: What I want for Christmas
Martin Belam: Presents for all!
Mary Hamilton: Dear Santa, please bring us all more time
Nicola Hughes: Journalist versus Programmer
Patrick Thornton: Journalism needs more journalists that appreciate programming and technology
Paul Bradshaw: Tools or Tales?
Jacob Caggiano: All I want for Christmas is Semantic Metadata
Steve Outing: Carnivals and holiday trees, for journalists and technologists
Geoff Samek: Why ask why?