Categories Archives: interactives

Filling in the holes

I graduated a few months ago from American University here in my hometown of Washington, DC, with a master’s degree in Interactive Journalism. A pretty cool program at times, but with some glaring holes that pertain to icky things like computer programming.

I guess I can understand why the people who designed the program might want to avoid classes in WordPress theming, CSS3, HTML5 and JQuery: they’re difficult to teach well, and let’s face it, they’re difficult to learn and hence might reap the kinds of harsh evaluations that my classmate Ian and I explored in our final class of the program.

And maybe there are other reasons, but American should not tout its IJ program as cutting-edge while omitting serious exploration of these modern web technologies. Interactive journalists should know this stuff.

So this is my summer of code. I’ve started by building a custom theme on top of wp-framework. You’re looking at it now. In the months ahead I’ll continue to tweak it, bringing in as much specialized CSS, JQuery and HTML5 as it makes sense to do.

I’m mostly relying on Chris Coyier’s excellent tutorials for my training. Check them out at