I’ve been thinking recently about the skills we expect from new reporters.
If you peruse help-wanted ads for newspaper reporters on JournalismJobs.com, you find description of required skills such as:
“The ability to write fast, in a concise, effective manner, is another key qualification for this position.”
“Computer-assisted reporting skills are helpful, with the ability to comb through campaign finance reports and various public databases in search of stories.”
“Typing, computer and Internet skills.”
Keep going and you’ll see generally the same requirements repeated in ad after ad, just phrased differently.
But is this all we really expect from the reporters we hire? Are we getting to the point that the old requirements no longer are enough?
I’m thinking that to build the newsroom of the future, we’re likely going to have to expect more then what we did from reporters of the past.
I recall, as an editor at a local daily newspaper, being frustrated to learn that new reporters didn’t own a TV or didn’t have a clue about popular culture — how could they cover a local beat if their baseline is National Public Radio and the Economist?
What would your ideal help wanted reporter advertisement look like? What skills would you like to see?