Beyond the obvious storytelling advantages, learning to code can actually make a journalist better at the fundamental skills of reporting and writing. I’ve seen it with my students, even those that will likely never use advanced coding skills in their careers. Khazan writes:
If you want to be a reporter, learning code will not help. It will only waste time that you should have been using to write freelance articles or do internships—the real factors that lead to these increasingly scarce positions.
That’s wrong. Coding has lots of benefits for pure reporter/writers. Here are two:
2. It makes you a better researcher/Googler. In my five years of hacking (reformed print reporter here), I’ve found that being a good web researcher is perhaps the most important skill in my toolkit. Most coding problems, even highly specific ones, are not especially novel. In my experience, someone on some web forum has both asked my question and answered it. The key is formulating the right search query and knowing where to go for information. Coding gives me a chance to flex my web research muscles at a high level every day.