Ryan's Writings…at Mason

Briggs Chapter 1: ‘We Are All Web Workers Now’

Mark Briggs’ Chapter 1 of “Journalism Next” details the importance of learning the basics behind digital content.

To be a journalist in this new digital era, we cannot depend on others to put our content up on the Web. We need to have a basic understanding of how to do these things ourselves, so that we can be self-sufficient in the individual process of creating a blog and website in a timely manner.

As Briggs puts it: “We’re all Web workers now. Previous generations of journalists—and other workers in all industries—had the luxury of expecting some supergeeks in their organizations to take care of the digital duties for them. For better or for worse, those days are gone.”

And along with understand coding such as HTML, CSS and XML, journalists need to have an understanding of how the Internet works.

I know the concept of learning coding sounds like a drag. I assume most Journalism students do not consider themselves techies and they cringe at the thought of any concept pertaining to technology.

However, the future or journalism lies in the Internet platform, and in order to have content on the Web we must have an understanding of the Web.

I used to be one of those eager Journalism students who didn’t want to hear anything about computer science, engineering or technology. But now that I’ve dappled in these digital programs, a whole new world of possibilities has opened up to me as far as publishing my work.

I can now create my own website, style it how I want and publish my writings while doing an extremely small amount of coding.

But because I know the basics of coding, it makes the whole process much easier and just as satisfactory because I am the one who is in control of my content—not three editors and a publisher.

As much as I hate to admit it, being a Web worker is a necessity in this ever-evolving world of journalism.

And I’m beyond grateful that someone like Briggs, through his “guide to digital reporting and publishing,” is leading me step-by-step along the path to becoming as great of a journalist as I hope to become.


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