New York Times seeks multimedia journalism interns

Poking around in The New York Times’s job listings, I found this description of three distinct internships “in the Web Newsroom of The New York Times”:

  • Front-end Interactive Designer: full skill-set of client-side technologies including HTML, CSS and JavaScript/Prototype. Experience with Ruby on Rails is a plus.
  • Motion Design Storyteller: working knowledge of AfterEffects and Photoshop in producing motiongraphics. Final Cut a plus. We are looking for someone to help grow the motion design side of storytelling. So applicant must have a strong sense of timing and narrative and have the ability to implement a variety of creative styles.
  • Interactive Flash Journalist: Advanced programming knowledge and experience in Flash and ActionScript 3. Experience with Photoshop and Illustrator is a plus.

When I tell journalists and journalism students that skills such as these are important to the future of their career, I catch a lot of flak. Frankly, I’m a little tired of hearing that there is no need for journalists to learn these skills. This is storytelling. This is what the ability to type on a typewriter was in 1970.

As Ann Landers used to write in her advice column: Wake up and smell the coffee!

Update (10:30 a.m.): Then I found an ad for a reporter at The Times-News of Hendersonville, N.C., “a New York Times-owned media company” that describes itself as “a print and 24/7 online newsroom that produces a 14,000 circulation daily newspaper and a website with about 2 million pageviews a month”:

Our reporters cover beats, work on enterprise projects, post stories to the Web and shoot video. Our staff works as a team and reporters are often asked to cover other beats as well as breaking news. The right candidate will have a passion for journalism and multimedia, a strong sense of community journalism and the ability to develop sources and go beyond routine meeting coverage.

11 Comments on “New York Times seeks multimedia journalism interns

  1. I always wonder where the NYT finds such people. It sure isn’t among recent journalism grads. The skillsets seem pretty advanced for internships.

  2. Have to agree with Megan on this one. Tall requirements for an internship. Especially when most senior-level folks refuse to learn any of this because they claim it’s too time consuming and difficult.

    Of course it also make sense if you grew up with a computer and adobe. So I guess it’s not that tall in hindsight.

  3. Regarding this requirement: “Interactive Flash Journalist”…

    It looks like the NYT isn’t giving in to being bullied by Apple, when you consider the fact that the iPad and iPhones cannot display Flash (as a conscious decision by Apple). 🙂

  4. Actually, I know someone who just finished the Motion Design Storyteller internship, and he is still a Senior at Syracuse. I don’t think it’s a tall order, but it does require a student who has chosen to have a specialized skill set.

  5. Tim, I grew up with a computer, and started building websites in middle school. Doesn’t make me any kind of programmer. Guess I just didn’t have the foresight to learn AS3 while I still thought I wanted to study psychology (oh wait, it didn’t exist then…) Most of this stuff is fairly new technology, so I don’t think age has anything to do with it.

  6. I agree with Megan re skill levels required. But these postings don’t call for journalism’s critical skillset, just technical skills (except for the “motion side of storytelling,” which still lacks any reference to journalists’ skepticism and need to assess validity, newsworthiness, truthfulness, etc).

  7. Even weirder than the skill level, now that I think about it, is the specialization they’re looking for. Did you know what kind of journalist you wanted to be at age 20? I didn’t even start my major in journalism until halfway through college, didn’t know I wanted to be a programmer and not a videographer or a reporter until halfway through that. Not a lot of time to build a specialized skill set.

  8. @Peter Martyn – If you read the full text of the ad, which I linked to, you’ll see that these are journalism jobs:

    “When a news story breaks, the intern will experience first hand how news judgments are made and how the plans for covering a story take shape.”

    “The successful candidate must … have a strong, demonstrable interest in journalism.”

  9. Is every journalist supposed to spend 10 years in college to learn all these suddenly-required skills?

    It’s not practical for every journalism student to learn everything, nor is it necessary. Programming holds absolutely zero interest for me – I’m a storyteller, not a coder. For those who can program, awesome. I respect and value those skills. But are you really saying that journalists who can’t or don’t want to code are no longer useful?

  10. Pingback: Online Journalism at the University of Wyoming » Blog Archive » Bloggin’ Basics

  11. I’m wanting to upgrade my skill-set, both in journalism and in technology, with an eye toward starting an online journalism business. I looked at the new journalism and computer science degree at Columbia–looks great, but *oops*, I neglected to get an undergrad computing degree so would need about a years worth of comp-sci classes to be admitted. (I haven’t ruled that out yet.)

    I’m curious what other programs people would recommend…

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