Multimedia journalism education is being implemented at different colleges and universities in different ways; this is no surprise given the fact this is a new area for both the industry and the academia. We cannot have a clear idea how to incorporate multimedia journalism into existing journalism education until this practice further establishes itself in the industry.
That said, a basic question needs to be pondered: do we want our students to be a story specialist and multimedia generalist, or a story generalist and multimedia specialist? Ideally, we want the students to be a specialist in both areas; but that’s not always possible in the curriculum planning.
I tend to believe that a journalism student needs to be a story specialist and a multimedia generalist. The students need, first and foremost, to be well-trained in both print and broadcast journalism; then they take a cluster of multimedia journalism courses.
Whatever the way multimedia journalism is incorporated into the curriculum, this training needs to achieve three basic goals: (a) cultivate a multimedia journalism mindset for the students, (b) expose them to the current practices and examples, and (c) teach them how to use some basic tools.