This might come across as quite a flippant skill to expect from journalists, but I genuinely think that knowing how to make a GIF is important.
It is a symbolic skill. Here’s why:
You need to be able to spot something GIFable, like an eye-roll in The Apprentice, or a bizarre thing happening in the crowd behind some sports action.
You need to know how to get that clip from some rando video source onto your computer in a format that you can edit and manipulate.
You need to understand the length and visual rhythm that makes a GIF entertaining and shareable.
You need to understand how to export it into a GIF file size that isn’t going to kill somebody’s mobile data allowance or take 15 seconds to download.
Those steps all teach you something valuable about making content with digital tools that will appeal to a digital audience.
Patented c.1906 by Morris Smith, manufactured by Standard Arms c.1909-10′s - serial number 7534. .25 Remington three-round internal box magazine, long stroke gas piston semi-automatic or manual pump action, engraved brass handle - originally lacquered black. A fancy and unusual ealry semi-automatic sporting rifle, betrayed by the lack of strength of its internal parts which turned it into a jam monster. It’s okay buddy at least you look good when you do it.