But when digital production came along it was clear that one function --- programming --- might not emerge in the newsroom but need to be provided to it. Programming has been considered less journalistic and more technical.
Now, though, some are reconsidering programming as a core function. With requirements shifting continually, should a newsroom have that function in its midst? Moreover, should journalists themselves learn to program?
Yes, says Roland Legrand in a post for PBS' MediaShift. The Belgian digital executive identifies programming as a necessary element of newsroom production. He cites several reasons why:
1. Complexity broadens.
2. Data are mobile and geo-located.
3. Non-linear storytelling is most readily developed by programmers.
4. The tools make it faster for programmers to fasten on to than would non-programmers.
Sure, there are some challenges, Legrand notes: It takes time, colleagues consider it unnecessary, and it's time-consuming, even though more free tools exist.
But he says on balance it's a useful function. Those who want to stay in the business for another 10 years need to do it.