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“The core unifying quality Royal found among the staff wasn’t a specific programming skill or even a set of those skills. It was passion. Curiosity. Enjoyment of the work and openness to new processes and approaches. ” – M. Garber for Nieman Journalism Lab (reviewing Royal’s study)

A recent study released by Cindy Royal, assistant professor of journalism at Texas State University, revealed how the New York Times aims to continue providing enagaging online content to its readers. The idea? Instead of hiring people trained solely in journalism they’re after people who can think like, well … ‘hackers.’ Not ‘hacker’ as in a person who illegally accesses your data, but ‘hacker’ as in a person who engages with technology to the extent that they’ve developed a certain ‘infinite possibilities’ mentality. As more people get used to digital interaction, new opportunities for telling their stories in creative, compelling ways arise. Personally, I think this represents a widening of opportunities for students who display passion, resourcefulness and adaptability. It’s as much about creative prowess as is it technical process.

In an era where everyone is now capable of capturing and transmitting ‘news,’ the Times is figuring out how to make its delivery most appealing by tapping into this mindset. In prioritizing hacking skills over yakking skills, the Old Gray Lady is sending a new message: Getting old doesn’t always mean slowing down. Read about Interactive Newsroom Technologies here

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