Olga Khazan, writing in The Atlantic, proposes several common-sense core topics that should be in the toolbox of any journalist. Here are the headlines, with some thoughts of my own
- Experiments and sampling (i.e. how to interpret studies)
- Marketing (not only pitching stories and understanding public interest and e.g. viral media, but also handling pushy PR people and separating story angles from spin)
- Civic issues (human and civil rights and media law should also be part of this)
- Online writing (add broadcasting, video, audio and photography)
- The internet - how it works and why (include privacy and research techniques)
- Plus: how about some basics, like story construction (5Ws+H, story pyramid, human interest), note-taking, writing techniques, hygiene (spelling, grammar, house style) and maybe even basic computer skills (keyboard, software etc.); plus some broader issues such as how to build rapport with readers, an understanding of human rights and journalistic rights, and a sense of ethics and obligation to match with your potential impact as an authority figure, commentator, critic and - perhaps - advocate (for a recent debate on the difference and merits of each, read this piece in The Guardian).