Monthly Archives: January 2010

Wanted: Swiss Army-Knife Journalists

Do you cyber stalk Adrian Holovaty? Are you comfortable with Final Cut Pro? Have you read and re-read In Fed We Trust: Ben Bernanke's War on the Great Panic? Have the strongest work ethic of anyone you know? Write like a dream? 

When I first entered a professional newsroom, the industry and the broader economy were in turmoil. Newspapers were closing in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Chicago, Los Angeles and in many other cities. Interest rates soared into double digits. Gas lines snaked around the block. Turmoil for many means opportunity for at least a few, though, and I was one of the lucky ones. Thank you, Gregory Favre and Dave Jones and others who helped me grab the bottom rung of the journalistic job ladder.

Even while many newsrooms are contracting, today presents the same set of opportunities. A friend recently wrote with concern about a daughter's interest in college journalism. I wrote back:

Is there a lot of change? Yes, but as you say, there will always be a demand for talented journalists — for people who can connect disparate facts, closely observe the world, and tell authentic stories that bring insight and understanding to others. 

We need smart, ethical and ambitious people like Liz in journalism — people who will understand the core values and who will also be driving the innovations we need to meet changes in the production and consumption of information, along with changing business models. 

J-schools are realizing the importance of the entrepreneurial mindset. From Stanford to Columbia to City College, entrepreneurial j-classes are establishing a foundation for a new generation of newsroom leaders, with an appreciation of innovation and a strong sense of how to analyze a proposal with ROI in mind.

Right now our newsroom is recruiting two journalists — a multi-media reporter for our video network and an economics reporter for our Washington Bureau. 

Every week, I hear about other openings. I have helped spread the word among my contacts and I will do anything I can to help match available talent with the needs of newsrooms. If you have information to share, let me know. Send me an email or add a comment here.

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