Keith Richburg appointed as new director of the JMSC
30 March 2016
Journalists are no longer just in the information business, university professor says
8 April 2016

JMSC courses continue to prepare students for work in the digital age

Social media has become a routine tool for journalists to turn to, and a new graduate-level course at the JMSC, ‘Social Media Analytics for Journalists,’ aims to teach students how to make the most of it.

The course, taught by Dr King-Wa Fu, joins such courses as ‘Data Journalism’ and ‘Digital Media Entrepreneurship’ as the JMSC focuses on preparing students for the fast-changing digital age.

Dr Fu’s course covers techniques for acquiring, analysing and visualising social media data, including through programming.

The Master of Journalism programme courses have been put together not only with the skill requirements of modern journalists in mind, but also to prepare students to be entrepreneurial, visual and data literate in whatever jobs they choose.

Visual and data literacy skills are also at the heart of ‘Data Journalism’, a course which the JMSC began to offer several years ago. The course, taught by Irene Jay Liu, integrates data collection and analysis, graphic design, programming, and news writing skills. It teaches students how to pick out what’s interesting from the masses of data available online, and then use it to deliver stories in a visually compelling way.

In order to survive in the journalism economy of today, students also need to develop a sense of business acumen. ‘Digital Media Entrepreneurship’—now running in its second year—guides students through the conception, prototyping and development of a new digital media enterprise.

Ross Settles, the instructor for the course, says that learning media entrepreneurship and the skills that come with it is important to being successful in today’s journalism, regardless of whether a person is working for a large news organisation, a start-up, or pursuing a career as a freelancer.

‘Journalists face an environment of constant change, and being an entrepreneur is largely about being creative in achieving goals in a state of constant change,’ Settles explained.

Feedback from students taking the courses has been positive and all of the classes have been over-subscribed.

For more information on the courses offered by the JMSC, please click here.