One thing I hope you will get out of this course is an understanding of how programming (and programmers) work. This is valuable even if you don’t actually do programming yourself.
But my answer is that no, journalists don’t all need to be able to write programs, but the ability to think like a programmer is an invaluable skill.
That quote comes from Do journalists need to learn to be programmers? Yes. And no. — a 2010 article by journalist-programmer Martin Belam.
More recently, Belam wrote about how two journalists described their newsroom at the Financial Times of London (this is the British Wall Street Journal) and how they handle data graphics and other interactives: “Data Journalism: not the job of one department” – Emily Cadman & Martin Stabe at Hacks/Hackers London.