Posted on July 15, 2008
A look at some job openings
Inspired by a post by Amy Gahran, in which she said today’s journalists will not find tomorrow’s jobs in news organizations — “at least, not in news orgs as we’ve grown accustomed to them over the last century” — I went poking around on JournalismJobs.com to see what I could find that sounded interesting, not entry level, and not impossible (e.g., “computer jesus”). Here’s a selection:
- “We are seeking an online news editor to produce local news stories and multimedia for NBC10.com. This individual will report to the Web site managing editor and work in the NBC10 newsroom … This fast-paced, multi-faceted job is best suited for a journalist who embraces new media technology.” (NBC10.com, Philadelphia)
- “… an Associate Web Editor to assist the Web Editor in conceptualizing and managing editorial content for Smithsonian magazine’s Web site … Minimum 3 years experience in Web and print journalism. Bachelor’s degree in journalism or English preferred. Knowledge of HTML, Adobe Photoshop, blogging software, Flash applications and digital audio and video production.” (Smithsonian Magazine, Washington)
- “Wall Street Journal Online seeks an editor to join a group that develops and executes infographics and other online coverage … Strong news judgment, creativity and a proven ability to report news and explain complex topics in a visual manner are required. … The successful candidate must have … three to five years experience in journalism. BA and prior Web experience required.” (WSJ, New York)
- “… seeking an online Content Producer to contribute editorial content to its Entertainment Guide and Internet radio station … This position will be part of a small team that conceptualizes and creates editorial features and content; develops multimedia content; and works with freelancers. … responsibilities also will include: writing previews and reviews of local events and venues … acting as on-air radio talent … A bachelor’s degree with a major in journalism, communications, English or related field is desired; recent college graduates considered.” (San Diego Union-Tribune)
- “Provide coverage of statewide education news for web based news service aim at the education community. Cover Capitol news beat that would include the Legislature, the administration, the Department of Education and other related state agencies. … Attend public hearings, press conferences and legislative sessions for news gathering. … Bachelor’s degree in journalism, English or related field. … Three to five years experience in the news business, daily newspaper or wire service background preferred, state house familiarity a plus.” (SI&A, Sacramento, Calif.)
While some of these jobs are at traditional news organizations, I think they prove Amy’s point. Tomorrow’s journalism jobs are not jobs that existed when I got out of j-school at the beginning of the last recession (Reagan era) — and yet, these are not some crazy blogging-in-your-pajamas, pay-by-the-word jobs. In fact, they’re all listed in the Online Media section of JournalismJobs.com, where some qualified journalists might not even be looking.
These positions illustrate why all journalists (and would-be journalists) need to acquire skills in addition to writing. Amy suggests:
Also, today’s journalists can — and probably should — consciously shift away from jobs that revolve around content creation (producing packaged “stories”) and toward providing layers of journalistic insight and context on top of content created by others (including public information). Finding ways to help people sort through info overload is far more valuable than providing more information.
Students should certainly read journalism job listings every week — to keep up to speed on which opportunities are out there, and to ensure that they’re picking up suitable skills for their career.
Side note: In Britain, Telegraph Media Group has made serious job cuts in recent months. Not surprising, right? But this might surprise you: The same company now says it “will create 40 new editorial positions across its print and online operations.” I don’t know if this kind of thing will happen in the U.S., but maybe the young journalists shouldn’t throw in the towel just yet.