Posted on: January 18, 2019

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Apparently several American universities are starting a new double-major, Journalism and Computer Science. I've been asked for input to one of the programs, and have started to think about it. One immediate idea is that the students will be able to write about technical topics without obfuscation. Examples: Hillary's emails. Facebook's API. They sound like scandals when the NYT writes about them, but what are the actual facts. Believe it or not, they don't say. The business and political press will do what they do, write shallow and inflammatory versions of the story that cast the Hillary and Zuck (and of course others) in the worst possible light. But some of us want facts. At the beginning, so we know if there's anything to the allegations or are they just smears. There are millions of people today who understand what a mail server is, to them it's not a mystery. There should be some news that's written for people with that basic knowledge. The students in this program will be learning how to communicate about technology with a sense that the answers are knowable, and not mysterious. So there should be an immediate benefit to all of us, not just the students, from these programs.
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