The hacker journalist: in whom programming and prose intersect

In an essay at MediaShift Idea Lab, I’ve tried to enumerate the job roles of a programmer-journalist.  It was a helpful exercise.  I’ve got no idea what I’m going to do six months from now, but a couple of the following are appealing…

  • CMS developer
  • CMS implementor
  • CMS user (Web producer)
  • Applications developer
  • Hunter, gatherer and data-miner
  • Visualizations developer
  • New media translator
  • and my favorite, the hacker journalist:

‘Hacker’ is a compliment in my world. If you’re a hacker, you’re an especially good programmer. So, what are you if you’re a hacker journalist? Think about what photojournalists do — they tell stories with a camera.

A hacker journalist tells stories with code.

The roles will overlap in the real world, and I’m probably missing one or two.  What other hats could a hacker wear at a news organization?