Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Job Ad Points to More Problems for NOLA

The NOLA Media Group is advertising for a reporter.   It describes the job saying, "In this role, you'll leverage your digital journalism skills in a dynamic work environment on an assigned news beat."

Today's multimedia journalist needs a far greater variety of skills.   At Kent State we train our students to think video, to think social media, to think Web first.   Despite all the changes in New Orleans, what NOLA says is needed for the job seems like a job ad written 20 years ago.   Take a look.
To be a good fit for this role you will have:

  • A degree in Journalism, Communications or a related field, or equivalent experience
  • 3+ years of journalism experience with a proven ability in reporting and writing.
  • Proven experience building, maintaining and engaging an active audience.
  • The ability to work independently under deadline pressure and prioritize tasks appropriately.
  • Demonstrated reporting, writing and organizational skills.
  • A solid understanding of news writing, journalistic ethics and story structure.
  • Experience with search engine optimization practices.
  • Demonstrated capability in capitalizing on high-value topics by engaging audiences frequently and with urgency.
  • Click the "Apply" button for further details... 
Apparently shooting and editing video isn't needed.   Apparently, there's not much concern about the person's ability to find sources via Twitter and Facebook or to leverage NOLA stories on social media.   Perhaps that's what NOLA means when it says it wants this 3-year veteran to have proven experience engaging an active audience.     The ability to do effective videoSkype interviews doesn't seem to matter.    Given the shake up there's been in New Orleans, it might be difficult to attract the multimedia journalists required to produce a first-rate product when the ad looks like one that could have run 20 years ago.

Or perhaps the NOLA Media Group's idea of online journalism is just putting up a bunch of text stories with a few still pix, in other words, continuing to do what it does now.     Good luck with that.
The ad says it empowers people to think outside the box.   There's no evidence of that either in this ad or on the web site.    So to help recruit multimedia journalists, start using multimedia reporting tools.

To build some traffic do an interview that can have some impact.   We watched Meet the Press fail to make Govenor Jindal answer a simple question, should Romney explain his offshore bank accounts?   When Jindal refused to answer, Meet the Press just let it go.   So this is simple.   A NOLA reporter needs to call the Governor for a videoSkype interview.  Ask the question again.  But this time, do what a journalist is supposed to do.  Get an answer.   If the Governor won't answer, ask the Governor why he won't answer a simple question about whether a presidential candidate should provide full transparency in his offshore investments.   Then put the videoskype interview above the fold on the home page.    And back at the NOLA  office for the reporter's camera, remember to light the reporter.   It will look a lot better.

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