The Buttry Diary- Digital Ninja School: A plan and incentives for newsroom training

February 23, 2012

Steve Buttry discusses a new training concept out of Connecticut that puts a twist on digital skill development.

The Digital Ninja School is a new training program that will train journalists in Digital First Newsrooms to develop skill sets in five key areas:

The training program emulates the martial arts approach where journalists will earn belts upon mastery of each skill. The belts convert into monetary bonuses, and the completion of all five belts turns into $2,000 in bonuses.

Each area will be taught through workshops, web seminars and of course, firsthand experience. Journalists will have the opportunity to blog about their training and apply their skills on the job.

The Digital Ninja School employs a similar concept to how this class (COMM 361) is structured. As students, we develop a set of digital skills over six to seven weeks, document it and then incorporate each skill into a final project. Although we are not earning belts or monetary bonuses, we are awarded with skill sets and experiences that are essential in today’s job market. The skills we learn today will open the door to new opportunities and advancements within the digital journalism field.

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