From the Wall Street Journal to hyper-local newspapers in Philadelphia suburbs, print media are navigating the uncharted territory of video (that is, web and mobile). However, video production is not considered an essential skill by many journalism educators. This must be changed.
Last week, two news pieces caught my eyes: the Wall Street Journal now asks its reporters to shoot videos on smartphones using a propriety app; Bucks County Courier Times, a hyper-local newspaper in Philadelphia suburb, started a daily video newscast that highlights stories compiled by reporters in print and online.
Looking back and looking around, we see more and more newspapers are making forays into the video world, which makes video production an essential skill for a journalist. However, many journalism programs do not list video production as a required course for journalism majors.
The lack of video training is evident in a mini-survey of eight “fully integrated” digital journalism programs. Here’s an observation of the core, required skill courses of these programs:
Among the 28 basic skill courses of the eight programs, the obvious emphasis is news reporting and writing (13) and digital/multimedia journalism (14); it is interesting to notice that there is only one photojournalism course and no television or broadcast course; broadcast and/or video usually appear as elective advanced skill course.