Ryan Sholins advice to journalism students: master one “analog” skill and one “digital” skill

The web is taking over, no doubt, but it’s important to not put all your eggs in that basket and retain and hone some of the core journalistic skills you’re already learning in j-school, writes Ryan Sholin on his blog, Invisible Inkling.

Sholin advises young journalism students to diversify their talents and make sure to become an expert at one analog craft and one digital craft. He writes:

“When I say ‘analog,’ what I mean is a core reporting skill. Those things journalism professors and newspaper editors talk about whenever the conversation about ‘what j-school students should learn these days, anyway’ comes up. It’s very easy for me to say ‘well, of course you’re going to pick these core skills up along the way, right?’

“The point: The Web is awesome…but you want to have more than one tool in the box. So, I recommend two diverse skills.”

Some examples Sholin offers include copy editing, enterprise reporting, photography, photo editing and media law. As for mastering a digital craft, why not refine your skills at video editing, Flash maps, HTML or community management? Sholin also stresses the importance of blogging for young journalists, though they need not blog specifically about journalism.

“Get the idea?” Sholin writes. “Don’t be one-dimensional. You probably aren’t.”