We are in the midst of dissecting the results of a newsroom-wide survey of technical skills, which is leading to some interesting discussions about priorities. It seemed like a good time to share this job description for a 21st century journalist, which was the result of a brainstorming session by a Digital Strategy Committee at the Star-Telegram. (Note: This has NOT been officially adopted at our newspaper.)
And, yes, this is much easier said than done.
The INSERT FORWARD-THINKING NEWSPAPER HERE is looking for dynamic, inventive, bold writers and editors — journalists who can identify a great story and tell it across multiple platforms.
Expertise in key subject areas is a plus, but we’re placing a higher priority on an ability to move quickly, learn on the fly and embrace change. You have to be driven and self-sufficient, because we plan to abolish the old hierarchical approach to newsgathering.
At our newspaper, you’ll work in small teams, sometimes editing, sometimes writing, always thinking across platforms.
You’ll be expected to contribute to all aspects of our modern newspaper:
- Writing stories for our fast-growing digital platforms.
- Adapting those stories for our print editions.
- Maintaining and updating our Web sites.
- Using social media tools to draw a wider audience for our journalism.
- Creating powerful multimedia presentations.
- Brainstorming strategies to strengthen and extend our brand further into the community.
It is a given that you are comfortable engaging with audiences on Twitter and Facebook and that you understand and are constantly thinking about the ways smartphones and tablets can help you do your job better — and how they are changing the way we all get our news.
Last, you will be comfortable speaking the language of audience metrics. You will understand what traffic numbers are telling us, and you will be open to using the metrics to tailor your approach to your job.