Charles Arthur of The Guardian makes his point pretty plain: “If I had one piece of advice to a journalist starting out now, it would be: learn to code”
“Let’s be clear that I’m not saying “code” as in “get deep into C++ or Java” … I mean it in the sense of having a nodding acquaintance with methods of programming, and perhaps a few languages, so that when something comes along where you’ll need, say, to transform data from one form to another, you can. Or where you need to make your own life easier by automating some process or other.
” … None of which is saying you shouldn’t be talking to your sources, and questioning what you’re told, and trying to find other means of finding stuff out from people. But nowadays, computers are a sort of primary source too. You’ve got to learn to interrogate them effectively – and quote them meaningfully – too.”