Teaching journalistic research skills in the digital age

Authors Els Diekerhof
Published in Journal of Applied Journalism & Media Studies
Publication date 2013
Research groups Kwaliteitsjournalistiek in Digitale Transitie
Type Article


The content of most journalism courses at journalism schools has been affected by the fast digital and interactive developments in the field. The changing digital organization of information and sources necessitates constant changes in news-gathering and research techniques and affects education in research skills. How can educators cope with the new demands concerning information gathering and selecting? Journalism students need to know how to use the newest research tools, how to find quick and reliable information and data on the Internet and how to best utilize social media for their journalistic research. Which research skills need to be taught to journalism students in this digital age? This article attempts to map the salient issues concerning changes in the syllabi of research skills courses by analysing scholarly literature, blogs and books by professional journalists and experiences at the – author’s – School of Journalism in Utrecht (the Netherlands) with the implementation of newly designed research courses. It is argued that digital developments have caused a shift from the information-gathering stage to the selecting stage of the research process in journalism. This implies more emphasis on evaluating and selecting skills in journalism education. New digital tools also require different research skills such as more language skills for more efficient search strategies. New digital sources, such as open data and the public on social media, call for more analytical skills and specific social skills to be added to the customary research skills.

Language Engels
Published in Journal of Applied Journalism & Media Studies
Year and volume 2 2
Key words journalism education, research skills, information gathering, course development, online research, journalism schools
Digital Object Identifier 10.1386/ajms.2.2.231_1
Page range 231-244

Kwaliteitsjournalistiek in Digitale Transitie