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Code: a love story

November 6, 2009

The way people receive their news is changing, journalists need to make certain they are prepared to learn the new tools of the trade: computer code and Web skills.

All the news I want fits into 140 characters, well at least the slug and link to an article fit. The number of people that have turned to alternate media such as the World Wide Web and mobile devices for their daily news has grown. Accommodating these new media is not a difficult task. Using the web is a very simple process, one that even children pick up with ease.

The very basic tags of HTML were designed to make web pages look like newspaper pages. Like newsprint there is a major headline, followed by a subhead if necessary, then the article text. Title of this blog is a heading tag (<h2> to be exact) while the text is in standard paragraph form (<p>). The Web has also had an inverse reaction to the way newspapers are designed. Just take a look at the Front Page of the USA Today, it looks like a web page front page with its short teases and big pictures that dominate the area above the fold is very different from front page design roots.

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Certainly there are people who have issues with basic Web skills but you don’t have to learn HTML to have success with the Web. Being knowledgeable of how to use all of today’s growing web resources could be put on your resume as a good thing. Older journalists and editors may not have any knowledge of how to make a blog, or how to tweet on Twitter, or even set up a Facebook account those kind of things if done correctly can give you a leg up.

Do not be terrified or overwhelmed of the Web and its underlying code. Instead do like Neo in the Matrix, use it for good, crazy cool outfit not necessary.

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